After many months of deliberation, the Media Rating Council has finally delivered their ruling on what counts as a viewable video impression on mobile devices. The guidelines are fairly similar to those currently implemented on desktop: 50% of pixels in view for two consecutive seconds. The main changes are the need for the ad to load before the viewability count starts, solving issues around signal and Internet speeds, and issuing new guidelines for image-based display ads in a newsfeed.
Inevitably there will be discussion about whether these guidelines go far enough. Should it be two seconds in view, or for the entire ad? GroupM, for example, is well known for taking a firm stance on viewability on behalf of its clients, requiring 100% of the video player to be in-view and 50% of the video to be viewed with sound on, while Nielsen has announced partnerships with all verification vendors to provide clients with the flexibility to determine viewability using different criteria.
While an agreement between all parties involved in delivering a campaign was all that was necessary to implement viewability standards on desktop, mobile has proven to be more difficult. In order to track viewability on mobile, the ad must be run using VPAID tags. VPAID allows ads to be interactive and permits third parties to run a tracking pixel on the ad, ensuring that it meets the agreed standards. Any advertising run using VPAID can easily be tracked, both in-app and on the mobile web.
Read the full article on MediaPost here.