This New Viewability Tool Aims to Put Publishers and Marketers on the Same Page

Integral Ad Science tries to match up measurements

While the subject of viewability has gained plenty of steam among marketers over the past few years, brands and publishers often grade their ads on different metrics.

Today, measurement firm Integral Ad Science hopes to solve that problem by rolling out a new tool called Pub Expert that lets publishers and buyers analyze viewability on individual ad units to determine the best metric to use. From there, agencies and marketers can negotiate viewability and billing rates.

"What's happening today is the publisher and advertiser will come to an agreement on a certain percentage in-view or cost metrics for viewable impressions," said Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral Ad Science. "Then, the publishers will use their publisher, vendor data, and the marketer will say, 'I want to use my vendor.' There are often discrepancies when you're measuring from a first-party perspective and a publisher perspective."

Integral Ad Science's new tool measures publishers' desktop and mobile Web ads, and the company plans to roll it out to mobile apps early next year.

Lenovo is one brand that's been testing the new tool. Lenovo's director of global digital marketing, Gary Milner, said fraud and viewability are still relatively new for the brand.

"Twelve to 18 months ago, brands like ourselves barely knew that viewability and fraud were big issues in this industry," Milner said.

Lenovo has not started buying ads based on viewability yet, but the brand has experimented with different types of creative, boosting campaigns from 30 percent to 60 percent viewable.

While the tool is limited to direct buys between marketers and publishers, Milner said he also wants to buy programmatic ads based on viewability.

"This is something that we can build into our plans through direct buys and, I'm hoping, through the premium, programmatic marketplace, which is probably the fastest growth part of programmatic right now," Milner said. "The more we can do these types of things, the better."