Three Metrics for Viewable Ads

sovrnmarketing // April 21, 2017

three metrics for viewable ads

In-view ads are in high demand across the advertising industry. Instead of rubbing the genie’s belly hoping their ads are seen by a reader, advertisers can now guarantee that their ads are being engaged with. Say what?

When understanding in-view ads, there are three metrics to pay attention to: dwell time, engagement time and percent in-view.

Dwell Time

Simply put, dwell time is how long the reader stays on any given web page. Advertisers use dwell time to understand engagement metrics around their ads. But there are some caveats….

How many tabs do you have open on your computer right now? As I write this, I have 13 tabs open, each to a different site that I ‘intend’ to get back to. Out of those 13 tabs, I’ve skimmed the homepage for two of those sites. Since the ads that are on all 13 open pages are considered an impression, those advertisers have had to pay for my internet ADD habit without receiving any user engagement in return. In effect, those advertisers have wasted their ad budget on me.

Just because a page is open, doesn’t mean the reader is engaged. Long story short, If I’m an advertiser, dwell time doesn’t cut it in proving that my ad has been viewed.

Engagement Time

The next metric in understanding viewability is the length of time the ad is visible to the reader, known as engagement time. You could also think of this as the reader’s attention span of an ad. If there are clicks, scrolls or cursor movements around the ad, then it is assumed that the ad is visible to the reader.

Percent In-View

Now let’s talk about the guaranteed percent of ad in-view. This is the percent of an ad that is in-view for the reader. The guideline from the Media Rating Council (MRC) is when more than 50% of the ad is in view for more than 1 second, then the ad is considered in-view. At Sovrn, we have technology that tracks if an ad is more than 50% in-view. Advertisers can then buy ads based on this standard. The higher the percent in-view, the more advertisers are typically willing to pay for an ad impression.

If you are selling ads directly, advertisers are increasingly requiring publishers to guarantee the percent their creative is in-view. I’ve seen ranges as low as 20% and as high as 70% in-view.

As technology becomes more advanced for in-view ads, surely there will be additional ways to measure engagement and viewability. For now, companies serving ads are delivering these metrics to demand partners, agencies and the brands themselves to provide greater accountability and value for ads that are served on publisher’s sites.

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