Front Lines of Viewability

Our Director of Ad Operations Max Yang sheds light on how to tackle the roadblocks facing the scalability of viewership to enhance your viewability scorecard and yield higher average CPMs.

Every touchpoint along the digital supply and demand chain has been well immersed in recent conversations surrounding viewability. From your junior sales planner to the global CTO, no topic has been hotter than making viewability actionable. No other team is more exposed to viewability than the ad operations teams responsible for the execution and data analysis. And certainly, no other team is more intimate with the roadblocks facing the scalability of viewership.


The first hurdle we meet is that vendors in the marketplace can have different experiences analyzing the data they’re mining – tackling vendor viewability data has been a classic exhibit of fragmentation between platforms. For instance, a buyer operating with DoubleVerify could likely have conflicting data with a publisher using Moat.

Then, there’s the fundamental problem that not all impressions are measurable, and there’s no disputing the incomplete scope of data. DoubleVerify, who has been at the forefront in the ad verification space, observed that on average, 90 percent of impressions are measurable. However, Dedicated’s own real-world campaigns have seen conflicting results. When we took a more granular look at the log-level data, it became apparent that viewability scripts simply doesn’t play nice with the cross-domain iframe behaviors characteristic of WebKit browsers such as Google Chrome, which can contribute to significant changes in measurability. That’s alarming! Roughly 60 percent of all browser usage is attributed to Chrome, yet all of that web activity is one that many vendors leading the charge can’t accurately measure. That’s inventory that simply can’t be ignored for the sake of boosting optimization.

Bright Beginnings

There is still hope in the ecosystem: one optimistic shift is with demand and supply ad platforms both natively supporting measured and viewed impressions. With ad platforms such as DoubleClick and AppNexus spending the past six months to solidify their screening of ad calls, we can now marry first-party efforts with third-party partnerships to validate the impression call before an ad is delivered. We’ve seen real-world results with this two-pronged approach, observing an average uptick of 40 percent in increased viewed rate and executing it at scale without any dips in measured impressions.

The efforts here don’t just benefit buyers – for the supply chain, it results in keeping publishers informed of the number of viewable impressions that their sites generated, and in turn, can use this data to enhance their viewability scorecard and yield higher average CPMs. Although it remains abundantly clear that chasing 100 percent viewability is still beyond current capabilities, the support from ad platforms have helped ease panic and anxiety that third party verification has been cashing in on.