For brand advertisers and publishers, online video viewability might be the single most important consideration as consumption of video soars. By 2016, mobile will account for 50% of video views, and we know much more today about how people consume video than we did even two years ago.
It’s about following where eyeballs are focused. Consumers have become blind-sided, consciously ignoring everything on the page except the main content body. For their part, advertisers like Microsoft are similarly unwilling to tolerate sub-par video players and throwaway page placement, as they are meaningless bot impressions.
That’s why we're seeing some major and, I’d say long overdue, market adjustments as publishers, consumers, and advertisers respond to this increasing demand for enhanced viewability.
At SendtoNews (STN), we have built a business on aggregating and distributing premium digital sports video highlight content, but this content is wasted in a less-than-premium viewing environment.
Considering the exponential growth of online video viewing, many publishers have been surprisingly slow to adapt to this new reality. However, changes are afoot and advances are being made in viewability.
The results are compelling. Viewers respond positively or negatively depending on how a page appears, where video players are placed, and their relation to the text or story.
As an example, let’s consider Major League Baseball in the United States. Articles about games, players, or other baseball-related themes that include video complementing the writing prompts readers to stay on a site longer. Game coverage with official MLB game highlights will be paired with expert analysis, meeting the viewer’s desire to watch viral plays in the same space in which they’re being written about. There will be no need for fans to exit the site and troll YouTube for game highlights.
We’re also making big leaps when it comes to verifying authentic impressions. Tech innovator Moat provides third-party verification that impressions are not generated fraudulently by bot or other means. STN now uses Moat to generate a viewability percentage for all its sports highlights.
Furthermore, STN’s benchmark requirements for premium video placement are 400-pixel wide content, above the fold, and sound on video.
Google’s new Chrome 46 is also taking a swipe at poor viewability and fraudulent impressions. Although it stops short of asking user permission before playing a video, it will now defer playback of auto play videos until the first time the tab is foregrounded.
Google is also committed to not making advertisers pay unless ads are 100% viewable. Considering where the online advertising world was on this file just a short time ago, this signals an astonishing leap forward.
And for publishers, brand advertisers, and video content rights holders, it’s a win-win-win. Building a premium online and mobile environment for premium content will attract top brands and advertisers.