The Interactive Advertising Bureau has announced that starting in June, a video ad will be counted as a viewable impression if 50 percent of the player can be seen for two seconds or more, reports The New York Times.
“In other words, if you visit a website and scroll down and the top half of a video player is in your view for two seconds, ka-ching. That counts as an impression, even if you didn’t watch the ad.”
Currently, the I.A.B. does not require that a video ad be “viewed” at all to be considered an impression, so the new standard, while falling short, is a slight improvement. The I.A.B. standards are important in that they set a baseline for negotiations between buyers and sellers.
David Gunzerath, senior vice president at the Media Rating Council, which oversaw the process on behalf of the I.A.B, told The Times: “Some buyers wanted 100 percent of the ad and 100 percent of the screen. We had people on the sell side who thought that the current standard worked well.”
Indeed, publishers can charge more for auto-play ads at the top part of a page that run briefly and without audio. Some ads, however, run under other video ads at the same time, with the sound on. And there are many pages with video ads running below the fold, on auto-play.
The chasm between the value of such ads to brands (negligible) and their value to publishers and ad networks (considerable) is the reason that many say this medium is at an inflection point.
More brands and agencies are demanding a full, reliable accounting of where their money is spent, which explains the rise of video verification companies. Kellogg’s, the cereal and snack giant, hired one a year and a half ago, having figured out through some unpleasant experiences in the banner-ad world that money spent on verification was worth it. Kellogg’s found that, at various times, nearly a third of the ads it wanted to run in the United States were running in a foreign country, said Aaron Fetters, director of Kellogg’s Insights and Analytics Solutions Center.
“We sort of made the case to our marketing heads that measurement will more than pay for itself,” Mr. Fetters said. “And it’s been like turning on a light in a dark closet. Now the lights are on and we can see what we need to clean up.”