Video DSP TubeMogul has decided to offer its viewability reporting solution to any advertiser, using any programmatic platform or ad server, for free.
Brands or agencies can sign up at TubeMogul’s viewability microsite and submit either a URL for a video ad they plan to run or a VAST/VPAID tag from an existing ad. TubeMogul will then do an extensive audit of the ad’s performance, including how many ads were at least 50% on screen (for a variety of durations), how often users mute the ad or navigate away, how many were served in unmeasurable iFrames, and whether there’s any sketchy stuff happening like masked URLs or in-banner video sold as pre-roll.
A standard definition for video viewability has not yet been agreed upon by the industry. “In-house, we’ve always said five seconds, unmuted,” says Grant Le Riche, TubeMogul’s Canadian president. However, he says that rather than apply an in-house standard to the industry, TubeMogul’s approach will be to give marketers all the data it can gather, and let the them determine what’s most relevant. “We don’t just want to give a rating, we want to give them everything.”
However, the Media Ratings Council‘s working definition of 50% on-screen for 2 seconds, announced last week, will likely become the standard. At the end of the month, the MRC will lift an advisory warning that viewability measurement solutions for display advertising are not ready for widespread adoption, effectively putting its support behind accredited viewability measurement providers. However, the MRC plans to keep the advisory in place for video viewability, as it believes measurement methods for video still haven’t proven their reliability.
Le Riche says the MRC has been too slow to adapt to emerging technologies in the digital marketplace, and that TubeMogul is hoping to accelerate the industry towards a measurement standard. The free audit initiative is part of the company’s ongoing push to have the industry adopt viewability as a standard metric, and the viewable impression as a currency for buying digital media.