“If you have guys creatively stuffing ads in to 1x1 iFrames, [using only] a geometric view would say those ads are in view,” remarked David Hahn, SVP of product management at Integral Ad Science. “Geometric measurement uses a very calculated approach [looking at coordinates on a page] that doesn’t necessarily take in to account actions viewers take on a page.”
This is where browser optimization could yield better viewability reach than relying on geometric coordinate-based measurement alone. A browser-optimized approach is also critical because geometric views do not cover viewable impressions on Chrome and Safari browsers, Louie said.
About 60% of consumers use non-Internet Explorer browsers, with Chrome representing a sizable portion of that share, Hahn claimed, so more detailed measurement is key. According to Web analytics company W3Counter, Chrome had the most market share (37.2%) in March, followed by Internet Explorer (18.3%), Firefox (18.1%) and Safari (16.6%).
“The MRC is setting a minimum standard of expectation and leaving it to vendors to push the envelope.” This indicates the work around viewability is far from complete, Hahn said. It's up to each individual marketer to decide what is and isn’t viewable, and which measurement process they want to use, some claim.
In some instances, viewability may only prove to be a priority in brand advertising campaigns where the "whole goal is to be seen," remarked Jessica Ciliento, VP of investment strategy at Digitas. On the other hand, with direct-response, where multitouch attribution tends to come into the equation, it might be a lesser priority.
This subjectivity, says Scott Knoll, president and CEO of Integral Ad Science, can be a core challenge. “The problem with a ‘standard’ is you’re taking a least-common-denominator [approach]. There are new browsers, environments and technicalities and if we don’t keep up on the technology side, it makes viewability useless.”