Industry Update: Update on Mobile Viewable Impression Measurement Issued
November 12, 2015 — On May 4, 2015, MRC issued its Interim Guidance on Mobile Viewable Impression Measurement. The Interim Guidance document spelled out interim guidelines for viewability measurers to follow for mobile viewable ad impression measurement, and announced the formal launch of a project designed to develop permanent guidance for measuring viewability in mobile web and in-application environments. That document is available at http://www.mediaratingcouncil.org/050415_Mobile%20Viewability%20Interim%20Guidance_final.pdf.
Today’s communication serves as an update on the current status of these efforts.
Project status as of today:
— MRC continues to work with a large working group of interested parties, as well as a variety of organizations that have volunteered to provide data to allow us to examine certain questions concerning viewability requirements as applied specifically in mobile environments. We are still in the process of completing our review and analyses of these data submissions. o One finding that already has become apparent as a result of our review of mobile data is that mobile ads can take a considerable amount of time to render on users’ devices, which supports the earlier conclusion from our desktop viewability work that “Count on Decision” based approaches (in which the served impression count occurs at an early stage of the ad delivery process) should no longer be considered a valid method for served impression measurement. MRC has indicated that we intend to work in collaboration with IAB and MMA to eliminate “Count on Decision” as an acceptable method for counting served impressions in the very near future. Our mobile viewability work has served to underscore the urgency with which this must be done.
— MRC plans to present preliminary conclusions based on information we have reviewed to date later this month to the Mobile Viewability working group. We anticipate we will have a draft of a permanent mobile viewability guidelines document ready for a public circulation and comment period by early Q1 2016.
— We have concluded definitively that the concept of a “Loaded Ad” metric is no longer necessary. This metric was introduced in the Interim Guidance document we issued in May, and was designed explicitly to be a temporary metric to serve until such time when viewability measurers’ capabilities for measuring viewable impressions in mobile in-application environments improved. We have seen compelling evidence that measurement capabilities in this regard have advanced significantly in the six months since the Interim Guidance document was published, and that measurers today can successfully measure viewable impressions in mobile within in-application environments in accordance with the parameters spelled out in the Interim Guidance. No vendors to date have been accredited by MRC for a “Loaded Ad” metric, and, effective today, we will no longer consider accreditation of this metric, as we have concluded the need for an interim metric of this type no longer exists.
–With the exception of the Loaded Ad issue as noted above, the Interim Guidance on Mobile Viewable Impression Measurement remains in effect until such time as permanent guidance is issued. Again, we expect to publicly circulate a draft of this permanent guidance by early in Q1 2016.
To date, MRC has accredited one viewability measurement provider (Moat) for mobile viewable impression measurement, based on an assessment of its compliance with the Interim Guidance