If you’ve worked in digital media for 5 minutes since the turn of the year then you will have had a conversation about viewability. A study by Meetrics last week claimed that UK viewability had fallen to 49%; quite a way off Germany (64%) and France (62%). This has been blamed on the UK’s embrace of programmatic.
The IAB guidelines are that agencies should buy at 70% but this is just a guideline and some media owners are friendly to this than others. Achieving 70% doesn’t solve the problem anyway; publishers just keep serving ads until 70% of the bought number is hit . A short term fix that may work in the summer but won’t be viable for many publishers come Q4.
Occam’s Razor is the philosophical principle that the simplest answer is often the correct one. Thinking along these lines the simplest answer to viewability is for publishers to redesign their sites and/or introduce new visible ad placements. This is exactly what the Guardian has just done and has created a short video to explain the changes.
This is going to cost publishers money but it is the right thing to do. We still won’t get to 100% (mainly because we don’t all use the same tech to measure and there are issues tracking viewability on mobile) but it’s a good start.