Analysis and interviews with 14 key vendors—including comScore, DoubleVerify and Google—identify primary challenges in adoption of transacting media based on viewability.

The promise and application of viewability as a key lever in the digital advertising strategies of buyers and publishers continues to evolve in a dynamic and evolving ecosystem, and ascertaining the offerings and expertise of today's viewability technology providers is essential to making the right choices in the marketplace. 

Viewability technology challenges, opportunities and vendors are the focus of a timely and revealing study issued today by The 614 Group, a global digital consultancy, which provides interactive advertising leaders and brands with the latest insights, assessments and findings in viewability tech offerings.

The aim of The 614 Group report, "Viewability: State of Operations Analysis and Vendor Study" is to help publishers, buyers, and other digital advertising stakeholders carefully review, consider, and select the right viewability technology provider possessing the tool-sets and expertise to match their strategic needs.

During February and March 2015, The 614 Group partnered with 14 leading viewability technology providers to conduct a series of revealing interviews. The vendors who provided insights and feedback include:

  • AdYapper 
  • AppNexus 
  • Chartbeat 
  • comScore 
  • DoubleVerify 
  • Google Active View 
  • Integral Ad Science (IAS) 
  • Meetrics 
  • Moat 
  • OnScroll 
  • RealVu 
  • Sizmek 
  • Vindico 
  • WebSpectator

In addition, the firm's analysis includes an informative interview with Julian Zilberbrand, Executive Vice President of Activation Standards, Insights & Technology, Zenith OptiMedia, who offers a unique buyer perspective on viewability technology and its future.

"The mission of this study in our ongoing franchise on viewability analysis is to help publishers be best prepared for the transformative market dynamics on viewability taking place every day, specifically in negotiations with media buyers, and to better inform and guide the critical decisions they have to make in vendor selection," said Rob Rasko, Founder, The 614 Group. "Based on what we uncovered in this revealing overview of the current state of viewability, buyers and sellers need to consider a 'reset' of their expectations on transacting on viewability."

"Across all fronts, the industry is trying to go platform-agnostic. For a publisher, that means content goes agnostic, and because ads follow content, they also become platform-agnostic. The technology thus needs to follow suit, so everything from forecasting, trafficking/delivery, and billing can happen in the most effective manner. These operational needs, as outlined in The 614 Group report, are going to create struggles for both buyers and sellers in fulfilling their commitments, and there is currently no true solution to the problem," said Anthony Viglietti, Vice President, Finance at Univision.

Across all fronts, the industry is trying to go platform-agnostic. For a publisher, that means content goes agnostic, and because ads follow content, they also become platform-agnostic. The technology thus needs to follow suit, so everything from forecasting, trafficking/delivery, and billing can happen in the most effective manner.

Anthony Viglietti, VP Finance, Univision

The study summarizes two main factors that have posed challenges to the adoption of viewability: lack of forecasting preparedness, and viewability discrepancies caused by differences in methodologies and process.

The report then highlights and summarizes the root causes of the differences in viewability measurement processes among vendors, which causes issues in forecasting and ultimately in viewability counts. As identified by the vendors interviewed, they include:

  • Non-human traffic or other improperly counted fraudulent activity (NHT/ICFA) 
  • Vendors' methods of counting viewable impressions 
  • Code launch timing 
  • Deployment of methodologies for viewability measurement 
  • Infrastructure architecture

As a key conclusion, the report emphasizes the critical nature of selecting the right viewability technology vendor, stating:

"The viewability provider a publisher selects to implement will drastically affect the publisher's baseline viewability rate. For this reason, publishers need to take great care in reviewing the options, and choosing a provider that best meets their priorities. It also means that publishers will need the expertise to understand and defend their baseline viewability rate to buyers, as well as explain why discrepancies between their counts and those of their clients occur."

The study released today is one of an ongoing series of reports on digital advertising technology and vendors: the full 614 Group library includes a January 2014 study on viewability vendors, and another in the franchise from August 2014 on native advertising vendors.

To access today's study, please visit: https://614group.com/library/

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