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2015-03-13 08:42

What does inscreen mean to online publishers?

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It’s been a few years since viewability became the hot topic in online advertising world. Sooner or later, it must have influenced publishers as well. Writes Toms Panders, International Publisher Segment Manager at Gemius.

It’s been a few years since viewability became the hot topic in online advertising world. As you may be aware, according to the IAB definition, an online banner impression counts as a viewable one when 50 per cent of the ad’s pixels remain visible on screen for one second (the same is referred to as the in-screen rate in Gemius). For online video this has to be at least 2 seconds. So far, the inscreen metric has been used only by media agencies. When evaluating the campaign efficiency they compare inscreen impression results with served impressions. Sooner or later, it must have influenced publishers as well.

Inscreen: a game changer

Inscreen measurement provides better quality digital advertising, with higher accountability and effectiveness. It’s a game-changing metric affecting media buying decisions. Similarly to other agency-owned ad servers, the inscreen measurement in gemiusDirectEffect has been available for two years now. This amount of time should be sufficient for agencies across CEE to fully adopt the solution and properly adjust their buying habits. When audience and price conditions are similar, agencies would rather buy more impressions from a publisher who can boast a higher inscreen ratio. 

This knowledge must have been very helpful when agencies negotiated the yearly deals with publishers. But were publishers aware of their competitive (dis)advantages? Indeed, proactive publishers kept up with the trend and went to measuring their inventory as soon as the inscreen metric appeared. Some publishers were instant winners, while some needed more time to regroup their placements. Those who did neither of the two compromised their competitive abilities.

It is impossible to deliver 100 per cent of impressions inscreen

Whatever the buying decisions taken, in practice it is impossible for all impressions to be delivered inscreen. This is true even for the ones above the fold. Most often users simply don’t scroll down to where the banner is located. So there will always be a portion of a publisher’s inventory that is not visible to users and as such has no real value. The latest Gemius data shows that the share of the missed ads is close to 50 per cent.

How can publishers face the new situation?

Publishers are pressed by media buyers to switch from trading based on served impressions to inscreen impressions. As a result, some publishers in the CEE region have set out with guaranteed campaign inscreen impression ratios. The sales model they assumed here is to create different pricing for inventory with 60 per cent+, 70 per cent+ and 80 per cent+ inscreen ratios. This helps publishers to avoid dramatic price increase and to keep part of non-viewable banner display accountable.

However, such campaign delivery model is not in line with ad server planning capabilities and involves a lot of manual work. Publishers can only choose to display the campaign on more visible placements but they cannot influence the ratio itself. It is much easier for ad technologies to distribute impressions with a set goal of total inscreen impressions. In other words, publishers should sell and plan 100 per cent on inscreen impressions. Such delivery can be fully automated

Inscreen planning in AdOcean

The most recent development in AdOcean ad server facilitates planning inscreen campaigns automatically, as if they were simple clicks. The server learns about a placement’s in-screen ratio and tunes the intensity of banner displays to reach the preset goals. At the end of the campaign, the agreed number of inscreens is rendered, with the total number of impressions much higher.

Another challenge for ad tech is to solve the problem of discrepancies between different measurement providers. As with served impressions, it’s inevitable to have slight differences on inscreens data between agency and publisher tools. Gemius, one of the leading technology providers in the region, has found a way to scale down the discrepancies between its tools: gemiusDirectEffect and AdOcean. Therefore our clients can benefit from greater transparency.

Publishers will have to adapt

TV and other forms of advertising don’t have to cope with the problem of a display being out of sight. Leaving the question whether such ads or commercials are seen and noticed aside, they certainly are all visible by default. Online publishers can’t ignore this disadvantage any longer. They have to adjust to market needs and improve their offer accordingly. Publishers can use this as an opportunity to increase their prices and charge customers more for more efficient advertising. And the good news is that the technology required to bring this business into life is already there.

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