Videology Questions Reliability Of Viewability Metrics On Successful Campaigns

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Videology, a video advertising technology platform, today released research findings on viewable video impressions that illustrate the complexities still surrounding the use of viewability ratings to evaluate an ads effectiveness.

According to IAB minimum standards, for an in-stream video ad, 50% of its area must be displayed for at least two seconds to count as “viewable.” While poor viewability is often equated with low quality inventory, Videology’s research revealed two key findings that suggest consumer behavior, more specifically the action of clicking away from an ad before the designated continuous two seconds, also contributes to low viewability scores.  Other issues to consider:

Target demographics vs. advanced targeting technology (like behavioral targeting)? Ad relevancy, the research shows, wins hands down.  Viewability rankings go  up–way up–from 31% for ads targeted by demo to a 74% rating for those using behavioral targeting.

What products gain greatest viewability and why? In Videology’s research airlines and political ads had average viewability ratings of 86% and 74%. Maybe ’cause folks are more interested in those subjects–and maybe, just maybe–because the production quality on those video messages in so engaging folks stick with the ad longer.

“Viewability continues to be a hot button issue for the industry,” says Quinn Sanders, Director, Product Management, Videology. But, he adds, “it’s important…not to look at the issues surrounding viewability with too narrow of a lens.”

The research also suggests that using viewability as the primary criteria of campaign performance (including the use of viewability as a currency whereby advertisers only pay for viewable impressions), may place undue restrictions on video inventory since not all video ad impressions are measurable for viewability.  Specifically, ads served over a VAST ad call are not measurable for viewability; only ads served over a VPAID standard are measurable.

Currently, approximately 30% of video inventory—often the most highly coveted, FEP player inventory—is not measurable for viewability, and therefore cannot be included in video campaigns transacted on viewability.

Yet, importantly, Videology’s research found: Inventory that cannot be measured for viewability can perform on par or better than campaigns with above average viewability ratings in terms of driving offline sales.

“The role of our technology is to help marketers make smarter decisions, and tools that measure viewability certainly do that,” added Sanders. “But the danger is to give too much weight to any one proxy metric, whether that’s click-through rates or viewable impressions, and lose sight of the actual desired outcomes.”

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