Mobile ad measurement: the new era of the impression

Raquel Vidal, SYZYGY’s Ad Ops Manager, discusses how new mobile guidelines have led to a fairer way of measuring performance.

When the MMA, the IAB, and the MRC come together, you know something big is about to happen. In April 2016, these three industry bodies produced the Mobile Application Measurement Guidelines. The 20-page document outlines principles aimed at ensuring the efficient measurement of mobile ad performance — providing some much-needed clarity.

As mobile advertising continues to grow at an exceptional rate, these regulations are a welcome pause for thought. With a section focusing on how impressions are evaluated, they create a uniform agenda for the industry to follow.

Google’s got the memo

This year, Google’s DoubleClick adapted to the new industry standards, highlighting a major industry shift. DoubleClick has modified the method it uses to calculate impressions. This calculation has been an element of debate for years and is a large focus of the new guidelines.

Last year, the digital ad solutions company was using the ‘served’ model to evaluate an impression. Under that model, an impression was counted when the DoubleClick campaign manager (DCM) received a request for content from the publisher.

Fast forward to now and the ‘count on download’ model is in full swing across its ad server DCM and supply-side platform, DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP). This improved model provides an accurate measure of engagement — counting an impression only when the ad content is confirmed as being downloaded by the user’s device.

Results everyone can get behind

This switch in measurement model may seem like a small change. But, it could prove to be a revelation for an industry that often disagrees on how an impression should be calculated.

Why is this a revelation? Waste reduction. First and foremost, marketers and clients will now both be charged more fairly — the methodology guarantees less wasted impressions. Secondly, we can more accurately predict that an end user has interacted with the creative. This has huge benefits when assigning campaign budgets and measuring performance.

Take this new methodology. Take last year’s viewability trend. Put them both together and we’re on the cusp of a hugely powerful mobile measurement framework.

These exciting developments will go a long way in reducing discrepancies across the delicate reporting ecosystem.