On the buy side, Annalect CMO Erin Matts sees pushback from brands who want to pay 70% on the dollar for 70% viewability. “That’s a common reaction, and rightfully so,” she said. Brands also struggle to understand the difference between viewability and fraud, Matts added.
Once brands understand viewability, it’s tempting for advertisers to treat it as a proxy for engagement. That’s something that Jonah Goodhart, CEO of analytics firm Moat, cautioned against. “Viewability is a denominator, a minimum standard," he said. "That’s different from a success metric.”
Large, splashy ads are often less viewable than small, ho-hum banners that stay 50% in-view for a second. “People are going to start changing their ad experience to game that [viewability metric], and it could be the race to the bottom,” Goodhart said. “They won’t do big visually arresting and stunning ads, it will be small little sprites all over the page.”
So looking at performance only in terms of viewability doesn’t make business sense; brands must measure beyond views.
“Part of our value prop is big beautiful ads at scale,” Elbaor said. “Then it’s no longer about viewability, but engagement.”