Viewability A Challenge In Connected TV Environments

Viewability A Challenge In Connected TV Environments

In this op-ed, Imran Masood (pictured), DoubleVerify’s ANZ country manager explains that while Connected TV (CTV) presents an exciting opportunity for advertisers, it isn’t without problems.

CTV combines the audience targeting capabilities of digital with the large screen viewing experience of linear TV. According to Magnite research, 83 per cent of all Australian OTT users can be classified as live streamers, with 68 per cent of CTV viewers watching at least one live streaming service, which presents advertisers with an unmatched opportunity to reach high value audiences.

However, while CTV offers the best of digital and linear, it comes with its own unique set of challenges, one of which is viewability.

Viewability is a measure of whether an ad has had the chance to be seen by a user. It is an important performance indicator for advertisers, particularly in CTV. However there aren’t yet consistent technological solutions to support viewability measurement in this environment. Furthermore some CTV environments (apps on a given device) fail to pause content when the TV is turned off, which often means that advertisers can waste spend on CTV impressions that are never seen.

Historically, advertisers have relied on Video Player-Ad Interface Definition (VPAID) to measure viewability in web environments. VPAID is code that runs within video players to provide engagement insights, though it is not supported in CTV environments.

This has forced advertisers to assume all CTV environments are fully viewable when this is not the case in reality. Research by DoubleVerify in 2021 revealed that one-in-four top CTV environments continued to play programming content – including recorded ad impressions – even after the TV was turned off.

Need for better metrics

This lack of standardised measurement may hinder the potential of moving more ad spend into CTV. The market urgently needs short and long-term solutions to more accurately measure and optimise for viewability on CTV as it’s a critical KPI for advertisers since unseen ads are wasted spend – particularly significant as 22 per cent of video ads served in Australia are through CTV, according to DoubleVerify’s Global Insights Report.

Although measuring viewability on CTV in the same way it’s done on digital video is currently not possible, advertisers still have options when it comes to addressing viewability challenges in CTV.

One of the ways they can do this is by targeting inventory from sources that have received DV’s Fully On-Screen Certification. DV launched the industry’s first CTV Fully On-Screen measurement offering back in 2020 and introduced two MRC-accredited key metrics: DV Fully On-Screen and quartile measurement (which leading broadcasters including Foxtel and Television New Zealand now deploy).

Fully On-Screen certification is given to apps or environments that only deliver ads fully on-screen when the TV screen is turned on, and based on a DoubleVerify study, has 83 per cent lower ad fraud.

Campaigns targeting inventory from Fully On-Screen-certified environments also saw increased video completion rates and improved attention levels. This means that targeting these types of environments can help to reduce the impact of fraud and improve campaign ROI.

In addition to Fully On-Screen-certified environments, quartile measurement also allows advertisers to measure how much of an ad was played at intervals of a quarter, half, three-fourths, or its entirety. This helps marketers understand how to better optimise their campaigns such as adjusting the timing of their brand messages or identifying the optimal duration for their video ads.

The combination of the Fully On-Screen metrics with quartile measurement provides an effective solution to address viewability challenges in CTV environments. By targeting Fully On-Screen-certified apps in the open marketplace, marketers can add additional scale to their existing private marketplace and direct deals.

As CTV attracts an increasing amount of ad dollars, the need to measure quality and performance is essential to ensuring spend is effectively delivered and that advertisers take advantage of its full potential.

The CTV advertising landscape is the next great frontier for brands. The ongoing uptick in ad spend shows brands are taking notice of the massive opportunities happening across CTV environments, with huge growth predicted. The challenge is ensuring that this spend goes on campaigns that are actually seen by viewers.

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