Mobile Ad Viewability: The Lingering Issue of Mobile Monetization

Mar 14, 2016
By: Marissa Camilli

In order to track revenue and performance more efficiently, the IAB and MRC are developing stricter guidelines that will define viewability. Despite these enhanced guidelines, many mobile publishers are still at risk of revenue loss due to the difficulty in tracking ad views.

Have you seen my ad? – According to The Mobile Majority, tracking viewability on mobile has become a nuisance.  Defining and normalizing ad viewability is still in the early stages, but currently, “for large format ads, defined as 242,500 pixels or over, a Viewable Impression is counted if 30% of the pixels of the ad are viewable for a minimum of one continuous second, as noted in the ‘MRC Viewable Ad Impression Measurement Guidelines.”  For mobile publishers, messaging is the key to having ads placed in areas that will result in legitimate views.

Brands utilizing enhanced targeting capabilities for advanced viewability– For publishers, targeting interested and relevant users is integral to ad viewability. Brands are attempting to drive viewability by providing display ads for sale that will encourage viewability. According to Adweek, Spotify is “letting advertisers buy display ads for both iOS and Android mobile devices. It serves as the “Welcome Back” ad, and only plays when a user has the screen open, which they say provides 100 percent view ability.” Mobile publishers can provide brands with the means to target users that are more inclined to increase ad viewability.  The correlation between brands and viewability is still very new, but this shows the importance of viewability on a larger scale. With all that being said, the process is still premature, but brands are designing specific ways to track engagement through ad viewability.


Ad networks pitching in – With ad viewability still being a relatively new concept to the space, mobile publishers are searching for easy means to measure their performance and track revenue. Many mobile ad networks are actually developing their own proprietary means of reporting viewability as MediaPost notes. Ad networks have the resources needed to track on a more granular level. In addition, networks have partnerships with industry-leading tracking providers that give mobile publishers a clear understanding of how mobile ads are performing. But, without stricter rules in place, mobile publishers will struggle to accurately measure viewability of mobile ads. Moving forward, devising industry-specific guidelines for ad viewability is essential to giving mobile publishers the means to track performance.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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