When a creative is served, an impression is counted to measure how often the creative was served. However, the metric “impression” does not say anything about whether there was a chance for the end user to actually see (visualize) the ad. An ad could be at the bottom of the page (e. g. a medium rectangle), where the user does not scroll to or the user’s browser space is not wide enough to visualize a skyscraper at the right side of the page.
Here, viewability comes into play. Viewability (also refered to as viewable impression) provides additional insights on the served creatives using two concepts:
- Pixels (surface): Which percentage of the creative's surface was visible to the end user?
- Time: How long was a creative visible for the end user?
The Media Rating Council (MRC) has issued guidelines detailing when an impression is supposed to be counted as a viewable impression
Script templates supporting viewability
Smart AdServer is currently working on updates on all of its official script templates to have them support viewability. This chapter covers the status quo.
Default Banner script template (web and mobile web)
The Default Banner script template is the script template which is selected by default when you create a new web or mobile web insertion and switch to the Creatives Tab. This template does not yet support viewability, but there is a custom script template you can use, called Default Banner with viewability (Script ID 39455), which is located in the Templates library.
The template supports the following creative types: image, flash, redirect (agency script), HTML 5. If you cannot find the script template, get back to your Support/TAM contact to have it enabled for your network. To use viewability counting, check Viewability enabled and define the criteria for the Pixels (Viewability area (in percent)) and the Time (Viewability duration (secs))
Mobile app script templates (iOS and Android)
Please refer to the old Help Center here to find information.
Video script templates
For video insertions (both In-stream and Out-stream), viewability is supported by default in all of the script templates. A viewable impression is counted when 50% of the player's surface is visible for at least 2 seconds. This setting cannot be changed in individual insertions.
To get reporting data for the viewable impressions of your insertions, go to Reports > Creation. Note that legacy reporting menues (such as Global Network Statistics) do not support viewability metrics.
First, select the needed columns. Selecting the column insertion is mandatory because the viewability criteria are defined on insertion level. It may also be interesting to add the column page (in case the insertion was delivering on multiple pages), as it allows you to see how viewable the creatives were in their individual environment.
When you are done with the selection of the columns, switch to the Metrics section and expand the Interactions section
This metric represents how often an insertion counted a viewable impression. The MRC calls this metric "viewable impression". Please note that it may be misleading to compare viewability figures of several insertions, because you may have selected different criteria for your insertions: in insertion A, a viewability could be 50 percent and 1 second, whereas in insertion B, you may have selected 60 percent and 2 seconds.
Using viewability as a volume for insertions
Viewability is not limited to counting and reporting alone. You can also assign a volume of viewable impressions to an insertion. This allows you to sell campaigns on a viewable impression basis (instead of on impression basis).
Defining the volume
On the General settings tab of your insertion, select the event viewability and enter the amount of viewable impressions.
Do not use an impression goal in combination with a viewability goal, as the delivery engine will have to reach both objectives before stopping the campaign.
If you are unsure about your viewability ratio, we recommend to define a maximum impressions per day volume in addition to the viewability goal. This security makes sure that your insertion does not deliver too many impressions.
Configuring the script template
Using the viewability as a volume for insertions only works with a viewability-compliant script template in the Creatives Tab.
In the script template you choose, enable the option Viewability enabled. If this option is not enabled, your insertion will deliver endlessly, because it tries to reach the viewability volume but does not count any viewability events.
Delivery, monitoring/reporting and forecasting
The delivery of the insertion will be based on the amount of viewabilities, rather than on the amount of impressions: the viewability volume will be distributed accordingly over the insertion's time frame.
In terms of monitoring viewability based insertions, you can use the menu Campaigns > Insertion Follow-up, where the indicator Progress rate is based on viewabilities.
However, you will find the actual delivered viewability volume, only in big data reports (see above).
Forecasting viewability volumes is not available at this time.