2016 US programmatic digital display ad spending will reach $22.10 billion. That’s a jump of 39.7% over last year, and represents 67.0% of total digital display ad spending in the US.


As programmatic ad spending steadily tops 2/3 of total US display ad spending, one could be led to believe that the ad tech space is all efficiency and effectiveness. However, that’s not the case and the main issue is way beyond the usual fraud/bots/blockers/standards scapegoats.

As top advertisers scream from transparency and ad effectiveness, and the industry craves for budget dollars to follow audiences, shouldn’t it be the critical to ponder if everyone’s isn’t betting on the same old pony when the race itself has fundamentally changed?

Apparently, the (viewability) king is dead, long live the (time) king!


A few months ago, IPG Media Lab, Integral Ad Science and Cadreon released a joint large-scale research study, on viewability.

With the goal of quantifying the relationship between viewability and brand metrics, the research involved nearly 10,000 participants, looking at 189 different ad scenarios. Although the study was not meant to rewrite existing standards, the findings serve as a guide to advertisers and publishers alike regarding how best to make ads more effective given viewability standards.


Key takeaways include:

1. Viewability is strongly related to ad effectiveness — as viewability increases, so does consumer attention and ad recall
2. Ads that exceed the MRC standard have 16%+ recall as opposed to ads that meet the standard, which have 2% recall.
3. Ad exposure time influences ad effectiveness more than % in view.
4. Viewability is important, but it is not the be-all and end-all. It should not be a KPI.

Need one say more?


So if impression-based viewability should not be a KPI, how should one measure ad effectiveness? The same research clearly identifies the answer — time in-view is responsible for more of the variation in ad effectiveness than percent in-view.


The solution is TIME. Time-based metrics are the ultimate KPI for ad effectiveness!

How do we know this? Because @WebSpectator, we’re leading the Time & Attention digital ad space with the only Media Rating Council (MRC) accredited metric that measures and trades effective brand exposure with digital audiences for 5, 10, 15, 20 or more seconds — 100% guaranteed!

It’s very simple, actually…

The race as changed! Are you still betting on the old pony?