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How to Make the Most of Viewability - Connect Partner Post with Integral Ad Science

by Integral Ad Science
May 24, 2016

Integral Ad Science is now fully integrated in Mediaocean’s Prisma platform, enabling buyers to report and reconcile against IAS viewability metrics. In this Connect Partner Post, Sr. Product Manager, Brad Timmers, breaks down critical developments in verification technology.

Advertisers and the trade press have been saying since at least 2014 that this year is “the year of viewability.” And while we can all see why an unseen ad isn’t worth paying for, it’s taken a while for the industry’s tools to catch up with this simple idea.

As a refresher, the MRC has defined viewability as greater than 50% of the ad in view for greater than 1 second for display, or 2 seconds for video. While it may not be the be-all-end-all metric for every advertiser, it does allow buyers and sellers to transact on a mutually agreed-upon standard for a viewable ad.

For advertisers that want to transact off of viewability, they should be aware of the challenges:

  • New ad formats are not immediately measurable. New ad formats often emerge faster than the technologies to measure them. While 2015 saw great progress in this area, there are still challenges in measuring viewability in emerging formats.
  • Reporting discrepancies are common. The sell-side and creative ad servers may offer their own viewability measurements for a campaign. These numbers almost certainly won’t agree with each other, nor with those computed by the advertiser’s own verification vendor. Agreeing on a system of record when it comes to measuring viewability is therefore essential to any campaign’s success.
  • Staying educated is not easy. While viewability sounds like a simple enough concept (was the ad able to be seen?), the devil’s in the details. Anyone who wants to dig into the details of how viewability is determined should familiarize themselves with the MRC’s standards. For instance, the MRC has different definitions of viewability for display and video; and within display, different definitions for large format and regular-size ads.

While these considerations do complicate the picture somewhat, the ultimate value of viewability remains clear: advertisers should pay only for ads that can be seen. And thanks to the industry’s move toward viewability, it’s easier than ever to see that value and take action off it.

The tools are catching up, and with these tools in place, advertisers can get real benefits:

  • Easily compare media partners with each other. And not just in terms of their viewability rates, but also in terms of their vCPMs. In other words, advertisers can now gain insight into which media partners provide the most viewable impressions at the lowest cost.
  • Establish historic rates of viewability. This in turn leads to better delivery forecasting for future campaigns.
  • Link viewability to driving conversions. Intuitively, it makes sense that a person who saw an ad is more likely to go to a landing page or make a purchase than someone who didn’t see that ad. Now that so many campaigns are tracking viewability, that data can be married to attribution data so we can see just how much impact viewability has on conversions.

Visit to learn more about the integration with Mediaocean’s Prisma platform, and how to get started.

About Integral Ad Science:

Integral Ad Science (IAS) is a technology company focused on ensuring safe, quality media environments for online advertisers. Employing the industry’s only media valuation platform, Integral Ad Science evaluates the media environment and establishes a TRAQ Score (TRue Advertising Quality), a first-of-its-kind, quantifiable measure of media quality that ultimately benefits every media buyer, seller, publisher and trading platform. TRAQ Score supports an advertiser’s ability to plan, execute and target their audience in an environment that reflects their brand image and drives ROI, while simultaneously setting benchmarks for publishers who wish to improve the quality of their content and design to attract premium advertisers. Integral is headquartered in New York with operations in San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC, London, Berlin, Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo, Singapore and Paris.