The enduring impact of viewability, according to IAS

10/19 By IAS Team

The interview with Integral Ad Science (IAS) CEO, Scott Knoll, was originally appeared in The Drum.

Audiences today are consuming most – if not, all – of their media through digital, and that brings “complexities” for marketers, according to Integral Ad Science (IAS) CEO, Scott Knoll.

Knoll warns that brands need to be aware of how their content is presented online to ensure that it’s shown in the best possible light. He reckons that digital creates more opportunities to reach consumers, but this also means “that there’s potentially more opportunities for waste.”

Brands need to be protecting their digital campaigns in order not to lose out on their investment. Ads are paid for but in digital can potentially never be given a chance to work. They may be placed in front of a fraudulent bot that is set up to siphon off ad spend, or the ad may never render on the screen. Advertisers must be aware that they need to protect themselves when placing advertising in digital environments.

According to Knoll, video is still the most popular viewing medium and the medium that potentially can see greater wastage. Which is why IAS is focused on creating a seamless user experience and creating better metrics to measure the performance of video and user interaction with video ads. Whether that’s being able to test for and identify video ad fraud, or analysing the content the video’s placed next to, or how long a video ad’s in view, and whether it reached completion, among others. The IAS intent is to create global measurement software where everything is measurable.

Nevertheless, advertisers need to have the same measurement controls, regardless of the ad format. IAS both created and promoted the industry-wide adoption of open source code that can be used by all in the advertising industry in order to read and measure in-app performance signals. In-app may have been traditionally harder to measure, but thanks to the industry aligning with this piece of measurement methodology, a lot of progress is being made in this field. IAS itself has launched a pre-bid offering that allows advertisers to optimise the performance of mobile campaigns by targeting viewability thresholds for in-app placements. This means advertisers will continue to have the data and control to make better informed buying decisions that will drive their campaign performance goals.

Viewability remains incredibly important to performance, Knoll says. The number of ads that were in view does impact the amount of buys the advertised product or service receives, but Knoll admits that IAS and the industry at large, are still at the start of unearthing the opportunities viewability can bring. Viewability shouldn’t be a binary metric; there should start to be a threshold for the amount of time an ad remains in view and this should definitely be being measured to understand the tipping point in exposure duration. The longer a message is in front of someone, the more likely they are to make a purchase. IAS is looking to measure the amount of time an ad is viewed by their audience and optimise it that way.

Audiences today are consuming most – if not, all – of their media through digital, and that brings “complexities” for marketers who have lost control of what their brands are associated with and how safe their brands are in this space, according to Integral Ad Science (IAS) CEO, Scott Knoll.

Knoll warns that brands need to be aware of how their content is presented to ensure that it’s shown in the best light. He reckons that there are a lot more opportunities in the digital space, but this also means “that there a lot more opportunities for waste.”

While many marketers have implemented paid for ads, audiences now have the power to block advertisements through bots or other methods, so brands need to be cautious about protecting themselves from losing out on their investments.

According to Knoll, video is still the most popular viewing medium, which is why IAS is focused on creating a seamless user experience and creating better metrics to review ads. Some of these functions also include being able to test for fraudulency, analysing the content it’s placed next to and how long an ad’s in view, among others. But the intent is to create software where everything is measurable.

Advertisers need to have the same measurement controls, regardless of what format their ad sits on, which is why IAS has created a software that can read both open web and in-app functions. In-app may be traditionally harder to measure, but IAS is making a lot of progress in this field, having launched a data and probiotic environment that can be optimised based on in-app viewability. This means advertisers will continue to have the control so they can make the right decisions for themselves.

Viewability is incredibly important, he says. The number of ads that were in view does feed into the amount of buys the ad receives, but Knoll admits that IAS and the industry are still at the start of unearthing the opportunities viewability can bring. Viewability shouldn’t be a binary metric; there should be a minimum threshold in place although the amount of time an ad is in view should definitely be measured. The longer a message is in front of someone, the more likely they are to make a purchase. IAS is looking to measure the amount of time an ad is viewed by their audience and optimise it that way.