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THE MEDIA NOV_2018 - TMOL

a shorter attention span, smaller real estate where they are consuming their content and much quicker scrolls. These factors all impact on viewability”. For Milton, “The biggest issue is in-app measurement, both in terms of an agreed metric, and in terms of how it’s actually executed by an app and the SDK (software development kit) that it’s using – and the fact that we’re often looking for scale and diversity with a media placement so there may be, literally, hundreds of apps that need to be tracked”. However, he believes the “good news is that bigger publishers and reputable app vendors are well aware of the issue and are working to get better and more accurate tracking”. Indeed, Nicholson explains that 24.com has followed guidelines set by the UK IAB for measuring viewability. These are for a viewable display ad, a minimum of 50% of pixels in view for a minimum of one second, and for a viewable in-browser video ad, a minimum of 50% in view for a minimum of two seconds. He expands this by saying, “We’ve done a lot of analysis around user scroll behaviour and aligned our ad placements accordingly while updating our tagging infrastructure. All this coupled with audience targeting to relevant brand safe content has added positive results”. Lisa MacLeod, head of digital at Tiso Blackstar Group, says, “We have been intently focused on building technically superior sites (hosted on Google App Engine) that are https compliant, resilient, scalable and fast, as well as focusing on ad placement, async loading and AMP technology. We have been testing new technologies and partners from an ad serving and tracking and measurement point of view and are working on viewability specifically with a leading international tech partner in this field.” This focus has paid dividends for both publishers. As Nicholson says, “Our viewability tends to be better than industry norms and certainly better than the social media landscape, so this is becoming something of a competitive advantage for us.” Similarly, MacLeod says, according to their viewability partner data, “we are already ranking in the top global averages for viewability on most sites and positions and are using that knowledge to improve where improvement is needed. Our aim is to be the publisher with the highest viewability standards in South Africa, and to be able to report viewability metrics at a very granular level back to clients”. Improved viewability standards will lead to less inventory to sell. Botha is sanguine about this, saying, “Why should clients have to put up with such wastage?” But he points out that “the flip side of that coin… is that (this) wastage fueled the mass discounting of mobile inventory in the past, as there were tons of impressions available to play with before viewability came into the picture. Now that truly valuable inventory is being identified, there will need to be some level of acceptance that a fair price will need to be paid for these, and the days of buying mobile inventory for rock bottom prices are over”. Nicholson expands this point, saying there is an expectation that “programmatic is a cheaper alternative when buying digital media”. This is only so because the inventory traditionally offered programmatically is less valuable in nature due to its placement, and therefore, its viewability. “By clients need to become more discerning in their digital purchases. introducing premium programmatic, preferred programmatic, and programmatic guaranteed deals into the market, we have been able to offer clients the seamlessness and efficiencies associated with programmatic along with the benefit of high premium, and therefore very visible, inventory,” he says. “Of necessity, these deals cost more. This is inevitable since this is the most valuable inventory publishers have available to sell and it is in high demand.” While global advertisers and big publishers have the issue of viewability firmly in their sights, there is a long tail of smaller players who may not bring as much sophistication to the issue. Nicholson believes that “clients need to become more discerning in their digital purchasing behaviour” and argues that brands should also be aware that some of the responsibility of viewability falls within their own sphere of influence. Factors such as system latency and heavy creative also affect viewability and it is important that these are optimised to improve viewability”. Arriving at an agreed local standard is not something that can simply be delegated to industry bodies, it requires engagement and commitment from all stakeholders. MOBILE ADVERTISING Having spent some decades working in media agencies, Britta Reid now relishes the opportunity to take an independent perspective on the South African media world, especially during this time of radical research transformation. P 12 The Media | wagthedog.co.za


THE MEDIA NOV_2018 - TMOL
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