InApp Viewability Has Arrived. Here’s Why Brands and Apps Should Pay Attention.

Stephen Caffrey
Feb 10, 2019 · 4 min read

Mobile screens are the greatest eyeball magnets ever created. If walking down the street isn’t enough proof of that, just take a look at how advertisers are spending their money. Ads go where the people are, and eMarketer predicts that by 2020, mobile advertising will overtake television spend and makeup 43% of total U.S. ad spend.

There’s no denying that mobile is here to stay, but when it comes to mobile advertising, there’s a lot that’s worth leaving behind. Despite a sizeable chunk of mobile ad budgets being spent in apps, only 2% of apps can actually verify that a person saw an ad. Great ROI, huh? No wonder brands and agencies demand cold, hard proof of in-app ad viewability. But until recently, this metric was less than reliable.

The Great White Whale Of In-App Viewability

Why has a consistent and reliable in-app viewability metric been so elusive? In-app ads can’t be tracked the same way ads served in mobile web can. On mobile web, tags are added and tracking viewability that meets the Media Rating Council (MRC) standards — 50% visible for 2 seconds — is straightforward to implement and track.

Apps don’t function the same way as mobile web. To serve ads and accurately capture viewability metrics, app publishers must integrate SDKs into the app. We’re not talking just one or two SDKs, but the SDK of every major viewability vendor on the market.

For non-developer folk, SDK stands for software development kit. Think of it as the native code that gets included in an app update. Using SDKs for this functionality is all well and good, but spending every waking moment integrating and managing more and more code just to support viewability isn’t exactly an app publisher’s idea of a good time.

No wonder this SDK extravaganza hasn’t worked for app publishers or the viewability vendors.

Why Viewability Matters

An ad served doesn’t always mean an ad seen. With a mobile-first culture now the accepted norm, unseen ads represent a big opportunity lost. Research shows a consistent relationship between how long an ad is seen and an increase in awareness and consideration.

Without a way to effectively track and verify that relationship, advertisers and app publishers are being forced to move away from in-app inventory. And that means moving away from a highly engaged audience who, on average, have over 100 apps on their phones and use nearly 40 of them on a monthly basis.

Open Source Technology Is Opening The Door To Opportunity

Recently, a solution for accurate and reliable in-app viewability tracking, reporting and verifying has been introduced. It’s called the Open Measurement Software Development Kit (OM SDK). This new technology eliminates the multi-SDK issues of the past and gives brands, agencies and app publishers the ability to access consistent, standardized, industry-accredited viewability metrics at scale — a game changer for in-app measurement.

The OM SDK opens the door for marketers to be able to easily and confidently purchase ads from many app publishers, taking advantage of unrivaled access to a consistently growing audience. Additionally, the tech offers advertisers greater flexibility when choosing measurement partners who can now more seamlessly provide transparent reports.

Certifiably Better Viewability Measurement

Progressive monetization platforms, like have worked closely with the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) tech lab to not only champion the creation of the OM SDK, but to also be among the first to bundle it into their ad monetization offering. partners are able to access in-app audiences and use the measurement vendor of their choice. App publishers are able to implement this with a single SDK, certifying their entire inventory for viewability.

The benefits are immediately obvious for our partners:

  • Advertisers are finally able to reach in-app audiences at scale and access reliable viewability metrics from a range of major viewability vendors, without needing to change a thing in their workflow.
  • App publishers certify all their inventory for viewability in a single ads SDK integration, attracting tier 1 brand campaigns and achieve higher ad revenue.

As marketers and app publishers look to tap into the increasing opportunity in-app mobile ads provide, it’s imperative they pay attention to IAB Certified Viewable standards. Ignoring the advantages of scalable, accurate and reliable measurement reports this technology enables, will ensure those advertisers and app publishers will be left on the sidelines watching others reap the benefit of the rapidly growing app economy.

displayio connects brands with viewable in-app audiences.

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