There’s big money in online video advertising, and making sure that viewers are actually seeing the ads is a prime concern. But what makes an ad viewable? How much of the ad do viewers need to see for the ad to be considered viewed? There’s currently no standard in place.
Consider these questions:
- How many seconds of an ad should viewers watch for it to be counted as a view? One second? Five seconds?
- If a video ad plays in a browser tab that isn’t in front, does that count as a view?
- If the viewer mutes the audio on the video player, does the view count?
Video advertising company TubeMogul recently released a white paper looking at the problem of viewability. There are two major reasons why a viewer won’t see an ad, it says: One, the viewer is ignoring the ad, muting or hiding the it; and two, a pre-roll that the viewer never requested starts playing at the bottom of the page.
Both of these situations are bad for video advertisers, since they mean paying for video ad plays that are never seen.
Ads on premium content get viewed far more often, TubeMogul found, although still less than one would think. Premium direct buys average 48.9 percent viewability, while remnant inventory averages 22.8 percent viewability.
Now, TV commercials aren’t always watched, either. There’s no way for TV advertisers to know if the viewer has left the room during the commercial or picked up an iPad. And the white paper notes that 46.7 percent of people with DVRs skip over ads. But with online video ads the technology is there to monitor whether or not the ad is viewed.
The point of this white paper is to push Open VideoView, an open standard created by TubeMogal. Open VideoView can track how much of the video ad was in view and for how long, whether or not the window holding the ad was active, the size of the video player, and whether or not the player was muted.
To read more about viewability, and what different ad servers consider a viewable impression, download Video Viewability for free (no registration required).