YouTube will reveal ad view data

YouTube is preparing to let companies see what proportion of the adverts they place on the video platform can be seen by viewers.

The move is a response to complaints by advertisers such as Unilever and Kellogg’s, which have become concerned that they are wasting money on ads that are not visible.

There are several reasons why an ad may not be seen, such as when it loads in a part of a web page that falls outside of the viewer’s screen. In other cases, the viewer may scroll away from the ad before they have a chance to see it or minimise their web browser while the ad is playing.

According to a report in the FT, the Google-owned company has recently given in to pressure to provide much greater transparency. YouTube plans to let third-party verification groups access data on the position and context of ads shown on the site.

This initiative is expected to start by the end of the year and is likely to attract interest from well-known verification companies.

Google already offers an in-house measurement system called Active View for testing whether ads are seen. In May, it published a study of “viewability” across its ad networks, including DoubleClick and YouTube. It found that the average viewability of video ads across the web was 54 per cent — meaning that only about half of the ads could be seen — while on YouTube it was 91 per cent.

A video ad is counted as ‘viewable’ when at least half of its pixels are visible on screen for at least two consecutive seconds, according to standards set by the Media Rating Council and the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Some advertisers believe that this definition is too lax.

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Originally posted at Advanced Television
7th September 2015