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Q&A: Justin Choi, CEO, Nativo on Ad Viewability

October 7, 2014 | By Michelle Manafy, Editorial Director – DCN @michellemanafy

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Q: Is “Viewability” ready to be used as a measurement of ad performance?

A: We see Viewability not as a measure of ad performance, but as a measure of ad viability and quality of ad placement. The technology to measure Viewability exists and should be used by marketers to hold digital ad providers to the most basic quality standard for ad placement, i.e. ensuring ad creative renders within the browser and can be seen. Further, as publishers move to feed-based and infinite scroll design layouts, Viewability will become increasingly important to extracting fair value for inventory that exists far below the fold.

Q: How do you work to ensure that ads are viewable and to provide marketers with appropriate and accurate measures for the performance of their digital advertising?

A: As a true native advertising provider, Nativo inventory placements render directly within publisher editorial feeds, exponentially increasing the likelihood of a marketer’s ad creative being viewed. Furthermore, Nativo approaches measurement in three distinct ways:

  1. Nativo provides proprietary analytics for viewability that adhere to MRC standard measures
  2. Nativo supports all third party ad verification for viewability including MOAT, Integral Ad Science, DoubleVerify, etc., and
  3. Nativo has been a pioneer in efficiency, always charging marketers on a viewable CPM (vCPM), which means advertisers are only charged when the native ad unit comes into view of the browser.

Again, our point of view is that Viewability is not a performance metric, but a necessary quality standard for paid media placement. Viewability should be table stakes for paid media. Ensuring ad creative can be viewed enables brand advertisers to better ensure their paid media, at the very least, has a chance to make an impact with consumers. Without viewability, marketers are forced to measure quality in clicks; a challenged metric that works for direct response advertisers but not for brand advertisers.

Q: Is achieving a standardized measure and method for viewability important?

A: Yes, standardized measures for viewability are important for our industry, provided they are not so rigid that they can only be applied to IAB display and video units. Too rigid a standard will only inhibit advertiser adoption of innovative ad creatives, and slow publisher expansion of non-standard inventory placements.

Native is a prime example of non-standard ad creative (content) and placement (in-feed) where marketers are seeing some of the most exciting consumer engagement and KPI performance in years. That said, it is important that industry organizations and governing bodies establish an accepted understanding of what it means for an ad to be viewable, as well as guidelines and definitions for marketers, publishers and ad providers to follow, including accepted technical methodologies for measurement.


Justin Choi is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Nativo, the premier native advertising platform for digital publishers and brand marketers. Nativo works with major brand advertisers and more than 250 premium publishers and was named “Hottest Startup in LA”. Prior to Nativo, Justin was the founder and CEO of Cie Games, a leading producer of top-grossing mobile and social games, which was acquired for $100MM; and founder and Chairman of Cie Studios, a growing and profitable, award-winning interactive agency focused on digital marketing and custom app development for top brands.


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