Did you know that according to comScore only 46% of inventory on networks and exchanges is viewable? That’s a startling number for agencies and advertisers who are weighing how quickly they should shift budgets to digital channels.
The IAB standard for viewability requires that at least 50% of the ad must be viewed on screen for one second or longer, but unfortunately there is no de facto technology that guarantees viewability. To further accelerate the industry’s momentum towards accountability, Google recently announced they would only charge advertisers for viewable ads. In a statement last month they clarified:
“Thanks to leaps forward in digital technology and the hard work of many in the industry, it’s now possible to measure whether an ad is viewable onscreen. Given this progress, it’s not a matter of if this becomes the standard, but when. We support a viewable impressions standard and have been partnering with the industry to push this forward.”(Inside AdWords)
The real question for publishers is how these changes and trends impact publisher revenue. In other words, how will this affect eCPM for the average publisher?
Intuitively, you would expect a decline in overall fill based on the high percentage of non-viewable inventory. However, the value of the viewable inventory on a publisher’s site will likely increase as demand for these impressions continues to rise. It’s difficult to predict over the long term if the increase in CPM for viewable impressions will fully offset the potential loss of revenue from below the fold inventory being sold today.
Regardless of the impact on revenue, the industry is barreling down a path towards greater accountability on inventory and publishers should be prepared and proactive to benefit from this change… or at least survive it. For publishers, it means evaluating and adopting viewability standards and technology now to satisfy marketer demand for viewable impressions by the end of the year.
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