Google recently conducted a study which attempts to find out the factors that can affect a video ad's viewability or the things that can affect the chances of a video ad to be seen on the web. The results revealed that YouTube and Google's video ad strategy earned a stronger viewability rating compared to the rest of the ads posted on the web.

The study shows that on average, only 54 percent of video ads are viewable and that video ads on YouTube, by contrast, have a viewability rate of as high as 91 percent.

In order to measure viewability, Google used the standards set by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Media Rating Council (MRC). According to these entities, an ad is considered viewable when at least fifty percent of the video ad's pixels become visible on a screen within a period of at least two full seconds. A viewability score is achieved by getting the percentage of viewable ad impressions out of the total number of ads that are viewable and non-viewable.

Viewable impressions, according to Google, are referred to as "a new currency in video advertising," and that these are "something that's top of mind for advertisers and publishers."

Naturally, advertisers want their ads to be deemed as "viewable" as opposed to being an unwanted video on the user's screen. These days, the issue on "viewability" has become a priority issue in marketing which could have been spurred by the numerous analytics tools available today on ad impressions and reach measurement.

"Advertisers seeking viewable impressions should look at high viewability sites that engage in best practices for video viewability," advised Google. "In general, advertisers should consider investing their spend in inventory comprised of larger video ad sizes to enhance viewability."

In the past, advertisers would pay every time that one of their ads was loaded on the web. This time, however, they have decided to pay only when one of their loaded ads has been displayed on the screen within a considerable period of time to consider it as viewed. In other words, they want to make sure that an engagement had occurred between the user and the displayed ad.

When companies work on improving viewability of their web-based video ads, they can be assured that they don't end up losing a large portion of spending made on advertising from owners of the media content. Google also sees the importance of an ad's viewability since the huge majority of their total revenue every year comes from advertising. The company also considers the fact that video ad spending has been skyrocketing.

The study also found out that audibility, device type, location and player size affect the ability of a video ad to be deemed as viewable.

"Larger players tended to have better viewability," said Sanaz Ahari, group product manager for brand measurement. "We also found sites that were designed for the video experience front and center, rather than making a secondary experience where video is one among many things on a page, tended to perform better."

Photo: Carlos Luna I Flickr

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