January 18, 2018

We’re Setting Higher Ad Viewability Standards

By Matt Schrag
Categories

Viewability continues to be a hot topic in the ad industry. There’s a real debate over the exact definition of what a “viewable impression” actually is. Since the MRC and IAB partnered to set a standard in 2014, the demand side, supply side, and every intermediary in between has taken a vocal position on ad viewability.

Up to 54 percent of ads aren’t viewable as measured by IAS in 2017.

There are so many questions, and brands are calling for higher standards. Should advertisers be allowed to create their own custom viewability metrics? Should the standards be stricter?

It is anyone’s guess where the chips will land in regards to ultimate standardization. One thing, however, is for certain, viewability is here to stay. The in-view rate is now a common performance KPI alongside the CTR, CPA, and CPC.

70 percent of advertisers now purchase media on viewability…and are increasingly demanding average industry performance, at the minimum. * (eMarketer, February, 2018)

This new focus has pushed vendors to adjust their buying platforms to optimize towards higher in-view ad placements. Valassis Digital devotes substantial resources into continually improving our viewability performance. We optimize every campaign to maximize viewability, are routinely exploring new models, algorithms, as well as redesigning and upgrading our technology.

Our most recent upgrade includes advancements in three key areas:

1. Updated Random Forest Prediction Models
We are analyzing more pre-bid placement data and user attributes, including device type and browser. This data helps us better predict whether we should bid on an ad impression based on the probability the ad will be viewed.
2. Additional MRC Accredited 3rd Party Data
We are winning more in-view ad placements by incorporating detailed impression level data from leading industry measurement partners, including IAS, DoubleVerify, comScore, DCM, and Moat.
3. Enhanced Viewability Pricing Systems
We are realizing more efficient campaign spend for our clients with auto-adjust bidding based on ad placements and the historic viewability rate.

Continuous Improvement: Predicted vs Actual In-View Rate Before and After Upgrade

The chart above highlights our most recent algorithm upgrade. This sample test group realized a significant increase in prediction between what we estimated the viewability rate to be vs. the actual measured rate, which underscores a significant improvement and positive outcome. Our priority now is to support these advancements across all of our client campaigns.

Each dot represents an ad placement, including device type and browser details. The X axis is the predicted in-view rate based on two weeks of our historical data. The Y axis represents the actual in-view results of the campaigns.

At a time when the industry is not aligned on ad viewability standards, there is one thing that remains consistent; Valassis Digital is committed to raising the bar. We are advancing our technology platform while delivering superior performance, brand safety, and ad quality for every campaign and client we serve.

As a result, our viewability performance has already increased by over 30 percent.
To learn more about how we are enhancing our clients campaigns, visit our Success Stories.

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