Tech Talk # 4: “SDKs” Are the Key to In-app Viewability

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Adotas is pleased to continue a series of Tech Talks that offer insights and explanations regarding the sometimes mysterious meaning and use of various digital tools. Your guide is Stephen Upstone, CEO of LoopMe.

When marketing technology goes mobile, it’s acronyms galore. One example is SDK – or Software Development Kit. How does this piece of mobile tech directly relate to marketers’ day-to-day advertising campaigns, and why should it be on everyone’s radars?

Despite the name, an SDK isn’t a developer’s version of a tool box. An SDK is essentially a piece of software that plugs into a mobile application, to make sure marketers’ ad verification software is compatible with the app itself, improving ad measurement and verification in-app.

As brands’ dollars continue to flow into digital advertising, ad views really matter. Recent studies show that over 40% of all web traffic in the US in the final quarter of 2017 originated from mobile, with mobile users now accounting for more than 60% of digital minutes consumed in the US. And in 2018, the average US adult will spend 2 hours, 35 minutes per day using mobile apps, underlining the growing need for reliable measurement for mobile.

Since there are many different ad measurement providers, app developers are required to integrate multiple SDKs. This increases the size of the app, and leads to increased latency and slower load times – all of which jeopardize the mobile user experience. It is no surprise that many on the supply side have been slow to integrate SDKs.

Fortunately, the IAB launched the Open Measurement initiative last year, providing a standardized SDK integration for publishers. Importantly, with this standardized SDK, mobile and in-app measurement can be offered at scale. As a result of the initiative, the industry is seeing growing collaboration among publishers, advertisers, tech partners and measurement vendors.

Initiatives like these are crucial if we are to improve transparency and ensure marketers are making the most of their digital ad spend. The entire industry will need to work together to ensure SDKs are implemented as seamlessly as possible, to make sure we get viewability measurement right for mobile and in-app.

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