New Pre-Opportunity ‘Viewability Filtering’ Technology For Programmatic Video

Altitude Digital, a supply-side platform (SSP) for video advertising, on Wednesday announced the launch of a new technology it claims can filter, “with a high probability,” viewable ads from non-viewable ads before a bid takes place in a programmatic environment.

The company’s platform now determines whether or not the video player is in-view prior to sending the ad opportunity to an advertiser, a press release explains.

Altitude Digital then uses the Open Video Viewability open source technology — which was recently taken over by the IAB — to measure the viewability of the ad impressions.

The company asserts that in beta testing its new pre-bid viewability measurement tech, campaigns have exceeded 70% viewability rates (e.g. over 70% of the ads in the campaigns have been in-view). The 70% rate is significant in that it’s what the IAB suggested marketers should aim for in 2015 in terms of viewability.

This differs from “guaranteeing” viewability, which is what some publishers and ad tech providers have taken to doing. In the “guaranteed” viewability model, marketers are only charged when the ads are measured as viewable (presumably by an MRC-accredited vendor).

Altitude Digital’s offering is slightly different in that it’s not guaranteeing the ads will be in-view. Rather, it highlights impressions that have a higher chance to be viewable.

Integral, comScore and others have been offering pre-bid data to programmatic buyers for some time, so Altitude’s technology is not revolutionary, but it is a positive step for the programmatic industry nonetheless in that Altitude clients will be providing advertisers with more insight into the impressions they are buying (before they buy them).

“Post-campaign reporting is the current standard, which means the advertiser only learns about an impression’s viewability after the ad plays,” stated Manny Puentes, CTO of Altitude Digital. “Publishers are then forced to reconcile non-viewable impressions via make-goods, increasing the frustration and the time spent on both sides.”

Recent data from Integral Ad Science revealed that video ads traded via networks and exchanges during the second quarter of 2015 were in-view only 37.2% of the time.

Altitude also Wednesday announced the launch of an “outstream” video ad player. The outstream video units are placed in non-traditional locations on a publisher’s site — such as in between paragraphs in an article. This has become an increasingly popular digital video ad unit, and one that has been made available for programmatic buying by the likes of Teads and SpotX, with Altitude Digital catching the wave.