In November 2012, the MRC issued an advisory around using viewability as a digital currency. A year later, they announced the advisory would be lifted after some standard definitions were established and after advertisers and publishers felt educated enough to embrace the new standard. And now, full steam ahead: 2014 has been a great year for the metric! It’s not a second too late, with research indicating that as high as 54% of ad impressions on the web are not-in-view. Viewability was long overdue before it even got here.
But it’s also just the beginning. Regardless of the adoption of viewability, it’s undoubtedly gaining momentum. We know. Each week, we get more questions about viewability. For what it’s worth, I couldn’t be happier with the high standard we’ve set for metrics and performance in general. Now is the perfect time to share how we’ve approached viewability more broadly.
At LiveIntent, we believe the shift to viewability is really about taking web display one step closer to the penultimate goal of web metrics: ensuring that every message being sent is delivered to a relevant audience when they are paying attention. Think about what matters to you more as a brand? That somebody had a chance to see at least half of your ad for one second? Or that somebody wanted to see what you were sending them, and then took every implicit, calculable action to let you know that they saw it?
As a result, we spent our time trying to figure out how publishers could monetize every single impression that they served, and how advertisers might only have to pay for impressions that people had raised their hand to see. Sound familiar?
LiveIntent was creating new inventory (and still is today, per Forrester.) This gave us the opportunity to set new standards – higher standards, for the type of media people could buy and sell. The result? In order to see an impression served by the LiveIntent platform, an individual must:
- Sign-up for a newsletter from one of our 650+ top US publishers
- Opt-in to receive email messages
- Visit their email client (Gmail, Outlook)
- Open the specific email
- Qualify to receive the impression based on LiveIntent’s algorithm and the goals of our advertisers
- Agree to download and view images within the email
Contrast that with what a user goes through to see an ad impression on the web (see: visit a web page, ‘nuff said) and you begin to get a feel for the difference in what advertisers are buying and audiences are seeing within the email ecosystem.
So we continue to applaud those adopting the viewability standard and are vigilant about demanding more from it. We think it’s only a matter of time before they catch-up to what we’ve been doing since 2010. That makes the industry better. And that makes us happier.