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InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

Viewability 100% Guaranteed from Nativo and Moat

April 23, 2015 | By Michelle Manafy, Editorial Director – DCN @michellemanafy

Viewability concerns have sparked a flurry of discussion, particularly around what should qualify as a viewable ad impression. The current standard, as established by the Media Ratings Council (MRC) last year, is for 50% of the ad to be in-view for at least one second. Not surprisingly, many marketers are calling for 100% viewability, despite the MRC’s expressed opinion that this is not yet feasible. Well, maybe not feasible for everyone, but some organizations are already striving to deliver.

Native advertising technology company Nativo has just teamed up with SaaS analytics and intelligence firm Moat to guarantee 100% viewability on native advertising for brand advertisers. According to Chris Rooke, Nativo’s SVP of Strategy and Operations, viewability has always been one of Nativo’s unique differentiators and this partnership is in keeping with that value proposition. Rooke says the company has traded media on a viewable CPM (vCPM) basis for years and built its technology stack to support both vCPM and CPM charge metrics from the start, which allows publishers to transact on whatever definition of viewability the client dictates.

The Moat partnership, he says, “represents the next step in this evolution by allowing third party verification. This closes the loop and ensures that equitable value can be realized by all stakeholders.” While Nativo’s standard offering aligns with the current MRC standard, the company can provide 100% viewability guarantee, verified by Moat, for a premium.

Not surprisingly, Jonah Goodhart, CEO and co-founder of Moat says that he hasn’t come across an ad buyer yet who “who believes they should be buying ads that are not there.” He points out that viewability is not format- or platform-specific and that it is clearly “reasonable that marketers want their ads to be seen across all formats and platforms.” The good news for native advertising content, says Goodhart, is that it is one of the most likely formats to be viewable.

Rooke says Nativo opted to partner with Moat because it was an early mover in the area and the first vendor the MRC accredited to accurately track viewability on dynamic in-feed units. The move is intended to be proactive by allowing brand advertisers to track viewability and reconcile against Nativo’s internal data. Nativo has also fully integrated Moat attention analytics into its platform, which Rooke believes “provides massive value to both sides of the supply chain.”

Though Nativo exclusively offers viewability pricing to its clients, the company currently sees only a small percentage of marketers buying the rest of their media on a viewable basis. However Rooke predicts that an increasing number of marketers and agencies will transact on it as more inventory is accessible on a viewable basis and third party verification becomes more broadly reliable.

Goodhart finds that content providers—from native to mobile, to video and even connected TV—are increasingly “pushing for viewability metrics.” He also sees signs that they are looking for other meaningful metrics, such as attention. And on the buy-side, he emphasizes that viewability doesn’t guarantee a successful campaign.

Rooke agrees, saying that “viewable units obviously perform better than non-viewable, but we find that it’s the quality of the promoted brand content and its contextual alignment to the surrounding editorial that ultimately determine how well a client’s initiative will perform.” Goodhart notes that marketers and publishers must continue to drive toward a world where viewability is a given, “that’s where we’ll get into effectiveness and solving for larger goals. Viewability—and humanity—are first,” says Goodhart, “but what comes next is where it will get very interesting.”

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