ComScore introduces free viewability measurement

The measurement firm wants clients to focus on deeper metrics.
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ComScore is making its viewability measurement available for free to all clients globally with the launch of comScore Viewability.

According to a release from the company, the move is aimed at promoting trust and transparency in digital advertising and improving cross-platform comparability. Giving access to viewability for free will allow clients to focus on deeper performance metrics like geographic and demographic targets, brand awareness, purchase intent and sales, the company says.

“Viewability is a hot issue, but has taken on importance beyond what’s appropriate for the specific metric,” Dan Hess, executive vice president of products at comScore, told MiC. “It’s very important, but there are far more important metrics that the market needs to be focused on.”

Hess said that while viewability should be included in plans, comScore noticed that advertisers and agencies were starting to view it as a measure of effectiveness.

“Just because an ad is seen doesn’t tell you that it’s been effective in driving a certain outcome,” he said. Making viewability a free metric is intended to shift the industry’s focus to metrics like whether an ad reached the intended audience or changed behaviour, he added.

The move is also intended to create a more level playing field for measurement between digital and other platforms like TV by making the “opportunity to see” available for free, said Hess.

ComScore’s Viewability will become free globally this summer as a self-serve option. It will use the same measurement tag and technology as comScore validated Campaign Essentials (vCE), so the metrics in comScore Viewability will align with vCE-reported data. While vCE is accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC) for display and video impression viewability, comScore Viewability has not yet been accredited.

Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the IAB, said in the release that the organization applauds comScore’s decision.

“It is critical that this industry stop wasting time on unproductive arguments about baseline standards and start investing time on what really matters – the strategies, ideas and executions that move hearts, minds and wallets,” he said in the release. “The MRC standard for viewable impressions was agreed to and has evolved under consistent cross-industry participation. It’s time for the entire marketing-media ecosystem to accept it and move on to more productive innovations, including agreement on how to measure cross-media audiences and engagement.”

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