MRC Lifts Advisory on Viewable Impressions: What it Means to You

The world of online advertising is moving at such a rapid pace it is hard to keep up. Understanding policies and restrictions, or in this case lack thereof, will help you make better decisions by knowing why things are happening.

Let’s start off with a little background on the issue:

Advisory: (November 14, 2012) “MRC [Media Rating Council] believes it is premature to transact on viewability in advance of a fuller understanding of [viewability]… MRC recommends that the entire ecosystem continue to test and refine the definitions, thresholds and implementation steps required to transition to a viewable impressions currency for Internet media transactions.”

The MRC wanted to learn more about this new concept of “viewable impressions” before they sanctioned it as a commodity. The MRC said, “Moving to a new, as yet not fully measurable currency on a wholesale basis at this juncture could do more harm than good.” It makes sense because they needed to develop a uniform set of definitions, standards, and to be able to regulate the market.

Standards: “Once the need for an industry-wide advancement in interactive media measurement became clear, the trade associations came together to address it.” Developed by the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS ), a cross-industry coalition committed to developing digital metrics & measurement solutions. The 3MS includes collaboration with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s ) the national trade association representing the advertising agency business in the United States,  Association of National Advertisers (ANA ), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), & the Media Rating Council (MRC ).

Lifting the Ban: The initial timeline for lifting the MRC viewable impression advisory was by the end of 2013, but had been pushed back to Q1 of 2014—with a new date of April, 1 2014. After extensive review of the technology and processes used to measure ad viewability, the MRC gathered enough information to make a standard. They now feel informed enough to promote viewability as a commodity.

Publishers: Your clients are going to want more information on who is actually seeing their ads. This is due to the fact that they will be transacting on viewability more frequently outside of working with you. Big name publishers have already been getting requests from big companies to measure and transact on ad viewability.

Viewability helps publishers. Your most viewed digital ad placements can now be sold at a “premium” rate and best of all, you have the numbers to back it up. On top of getting more money for highly visible placements, you can now optimize your site so every ad you sell can be viewed for the perfect amount of time and then dynamically swapped out, as well as ensure your ad units are strategically placed to get the most viewability as possible. Regarding switching out ads after optimal view times (see chart below):

Brands: Viewability unlocks quality data and insights that were never before accessible. This data includes: who your ad is being seen by, how many times they see it, for how long, and what action it is driving. Gaining access to reliable numbers to convey ad effectiveness is a huge step forward. In the past, numbers have been based on impressions and due to the nature of that measurement, they may not be the most accurate: if you base your action off of bad data it is a cycle driving failure.

Agencies:  You are going to be affected by viewability, but not to worry—it will help you. “How?” you may ask. By having hard numbers that have been sanctified by a reputable organization (MRC) to present to clients, by bringing new success metrics to your clients that go beyond the old CTR – unlocking brand opportunities, and by better refining the efficiency of your client’s ad buys. It will help quantify the ROI on the ads you produce and make it easier to understand what part of your ad spend is being wasted. It’s also important that your viewability solution allows you to track ads via unlimited parameters, so you can monitor the success or failure of each advertisement at a very granular level – campaign, network, page, publisher, impression ID, cookie ID, geo, etc.  You will need this level of granularity to take advantage of the full suite of opportunities ad viewability provides.  Finally, make sure your vendor can accommodate RTB as well, with real time measurement and data access.

Next Steps & Key Takeaways:

1)   Go with a viewability company that is MRC accredited—this means they are conforming to the rules and regulations that have been developed by a reputable organization that has been setting measurement guidelines for over 50 years. AdYapper is the most recent addition.

2)   Use a company that has easy implementation. No one wants to waste his or her time trying to understand how to make the dang thing work. AdYapper has an easy implementation time of ten minutes.

3)   *Warning: The numbers coming out of viewability can be vast, so make sure the numbers are not only presented in an actionable way, but that they actually mean something and are tailored to your goals; don’t settle for drinking from the fire hose here – DEMAND RESULTS & ROI. AdYapper gives you actionable numbers, beautiful customized dashboards, and a dedicated team who work on your behalf to bring you real results.

4)   Use a measurement that gives you numbers in real time. Having reports that generate numbers at the end of the week/month or whatever the timeline may be are not truly actionable numbers. They are a record of the past. With the ability to see numbers in real time you can adjust your strategy, leverage for RTB, and turn on a dime. AdYapper allows you to understand what is working in real time, which is critical.  Imagine the money wasted on high volume campaigns, simply because of data lag.

Ad Viewability: A Definitive Introduction

Ad Viewability Explained – What Is Ad Viewability and Why It Matters

You may ask yourself,“Ad Viewability? Is that even a word?”  Well, it is now.  Let me break it down for you in three steps: 1) Definition, 2) Acronyms, and 3) Applications.  Our next update will be a review of the technical differences between ad viewability measurement technologies, and why they matter to you.

1) Definition of Viewability

It is easiest to understand through a story: Lisa Googles “ad viewability” on her laptop (see image below.) Because both ad A & B are loaded on the site at the time the page initially loads, they both add an “impression” to their count. An impression is the amount of times an ad is loaded on a web page, and typically you pay for each and every impression.

Lisa does not scroll down because the search result she needs are right at the top of the page, above the fold (the fold is where the page cuts off before you have to scroll down.) Lisa sees ad A on the right of her screen before she clicks the search result she wants, but she is never even aware of the existence of ad B, below the fold. This means ad A is “viewable” whereas ad B is not viewable.


As mentioned above, ads are typically paid for on the basis of “impressions”, or how many times the page is loaded. In Lisa’s case, both advertisement A & B are being paid for by “impression” which means every time the page loads, both ads cost money. Do you see the issue with paying for ad B even if no one sees it? I think it is safe to say that an ad not seen is worthless. This is where viewability comes into play. Viewability is the amount of times an ad actually appears on the visible area of a user’s screen. Viewability is making tracking ads on impressions alone – obsolete – because more than half of impressions out there are literally worthless.

2) Acronyms: Talk the Talk

How are you supposed to understand viewability when there are so many acronyms flying around? Take this sentence for example:

“Advertisers will eventually stop using CPI because the MRC and the IAB launched the 3MS initiative to create standards to regulate new measurement like vCTR™.”

What? Ok, again in English: Advertisers will eventually stop using Cost Per Impression (CPI) because the Media Rating Council (MRC) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) launched the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative to create standards to regulate new measurement like AdYapper’s Proprietary Viewable Click Through Rate (vCTR™).

It’s hard enough to grasp a new concept like ad viewability, without thousands of three letter abbreviations to contend with. To get you started, a few important acronyms you will probably see in the near future include the IAB, MRC and 3MS initiative.

iab_PicThe Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 600 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. They are in the process of finalizing a standard of ad viewability by creating guidelines & best practices for the industry.

MRC_LogoThe Media Rating Council (MRC) has a goal to secure, for the media industry and related users, measurement that is valid, reliable, and effective. It accomplishes this objective by setting standards and conducting audits performed by an independent CPA firm to verify compliance. They have announced their intention to lift the advisory against transacting on viewable ad impressions in the first quarter of 2014 and a public comment draft should be finalized within the next couple weeks.

3MS_LogoThe Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative was created through a partnership between the IAB and MRC, among other organizations. They are a task force dedicated to creating standards and best practices for measuring interactive advertising in the digital media industry. They have shaped the way ad viewability will be measured as well as best practices.

For a more comprehensive list of definitions and acronyms visit:

3) Applications

Stop wasting your ad spend!

Want to boost engagement? Increase Click Through Rate (CTR)? Need hard numbers for how many people saw your ad, actually engaged with it, and how your spend compares to the revenue it brought in? Need a way to measure the effectiveness of your digital advertising, in addition to relating it to metrics normally relegated to TV (audience eyeballs, GRPs, Digital GRPs, etc.)?

Utilizing ad viewability techniques & technology is a surefire way to increase your ROI in digital ads. By understanding which ads are seen, and reacting to that information, you can increase the efficiency and overall value of your digital ads. The key is having that information, to truly understand where your money is going, and which half is being wasted.

Knowledge is almost power. Now that you understand what ad viewability is and what it can do for you, AdYapper’s proprietary technology can give you rich real time data about where, when, how long, and by whom your ads are actually being seen – all with an implementation time of less than ten minutes. To top it off, all of the data is actionable. Instead of drinking from the fire hose, we give you numbers that actually mean something, and a dedicated team to help you put that actionable ad viewability data into effect.


Ready or not, here viewability comes. It is the next step in transparency for digital advertising.  Follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on Viewability or, to learn about how you can be ahead of the curve, shoot us an email

Viewable Path to Conversion

There’s a New Path to Conversion in Town, and Ad Viewability is its Key

To optimize your investments, it is critical to understand how your online display campaigns perform and what your customers’ path to purchase actually is. That is why understanding the Path to Conversion is essential. The Path to Conversion is a conversion-focused, linear landing experience, specifically designed to catch and convert incoming traffic from your online marketing campaigns. It is designed to show the entire purchase cycle, but with the flood of available data, it can be difficult to separate the signal from the noise.

Typical Path to Conversion


To fully understand how to measure your campaigns, it is important to reveal existing measurement shortcomings and then determine which metrics to focus on to drive ROI. Traditional attribution methods give all the credit to the last impression served, as in the example above*. Unfortunately, by errantly attributing conversion credit to the last impression served (which was non-viewable), the model ignores the contribution of the customer’s previous interactions (with the ad that was actually seen) that in fact led to the final purchase.


This is where the viewable path to conversion analysis comes into play. This viewable path to conversion attribution gives appropriate credit to every impression, exposure, or interaction that helped drive a conversion in a campaign. Instead of a typical “last impression served wins” model, in which 100% of the credit is given to the last ad that was served before a conversion, a viewable path to conversion shines a light on the entire path the customer actually took to get there.

 With a viewable path to conversion, we now have the data and metrics to properly credit the different channels that actually lead to a conversion – down to the publisher, page, and user level. This transparency will make it easier for you to gain insight into the customers’ journey to purchase, as well as provide the data and analysis you need to optimize the conversion path for future campaigning.

AdYapper does all this heavy lifting for you – working directly with you and your team – providing this data in real-time, with concrete action items to put this data to immediate use.  We turn that flood of noise into action items that yield immediate, measurable results.

AdYapper is Hiring – and Growing Fast!

These are exciting times in advertising technology, and here at AdYapper as well!

We have had so much fun this year building our AdYapper family since returning from TechStars NYC last spring in June-2013, and it’s wild to see how far things have come. If you have a passion for advertising or big data, and you want to really shake up this old stodgy industry – please reach out, and let’s talk!

We are expanding and hiring across the board, so If you know anyone that would fit – especially those with a media or digital advertising background – we’d greatly appreciate you spreading the word. Feel free to send them to


Elliot Hirsch
Founder & CEO, AdYapper

Current openings at AdYapper include:

- Senior Sales, Enterprise (brand direct)

- Junior Sales, Enterprise (brand direct)

- Account Manager / Data Analyst

- Senior .NET Software EngineerMore info at:

Cut & Paste to share: — Click to Tweet —–>>>
Very cool venture funded @TechStars company @AdYapper is hiring media & tech peeps across the board! Visit #jobs

About AdYapper and our Mission:

We are on a mission to provide much needed transparency in world of digital marketing – building the best technology, realtime data streams, and open platforms upon which the digital advertising industry can build the future.It’s a tremendously exciting time in advertising. If you are inspired by the notion of working hand-in-hand with some of the largest brands, agencies, publishers, and advertising technology companies in the world – at a scale that allows for even the biggest of ideas – send us a note (regardless of if you see an appropriate job opening).We are always looking to add more amazing folks to the AdYapper family. Regardless of if you have experience in the space, if you feel you share our vision, it all starts with a little email!

Email us at:

Learn more about the AdYapper Team

AdYapper Closes $1.2 Million Funding Round Led By KGC Capital

Round Fuels Expansion and New Products That Will Transform Viewability Standards

EBlog1PicChicago, IL (September 5, 2013) –


AdYapper, a provider of real time analytics and viewability monitoring for display and mobile ads, has secured $1.2 million dollars in seed funding. AdYapper will use the capital to solidify its position in the advertising industry and for R&D to continue its product innovation and expanded capabilities in new environments. Investors include KGC Capital, David Cohen of TechStars, Laurel Touby, Paul Sethi, Sameer Jagetia, Ari Newman, Vip Sandhir of Brown Capital and Dave Lerner of Rugged Ventures.


“Wasted ad spend is a cross industry, multi-platform problem and our technology is revealing that over 70% of our clients’ ads are never even seen,” said Elliot Hirsch, CEO and Founder of AdYapper. “Our products provide critical situational awareness and transparency, enabling brands to quickly and easily understand how their media is truly performing, while arming trade desks, agencies and publishers with the tools they need to measure these key metrics, and the data to identify unseen ads and reallocate their client’s funds, all in real time.”

Laurel Touby, Founder of (AgencySpy), believes that “with AdYapper in place, there’s nowhere for underperforming media to hide. Brands and marketers can finally see actual ad campaign performance and that saves them money in the short run. In the long run, it makes everyone hew to a higher standard.”

“Ad viewability is critical to understanding campaign performance, and the wave is only beginning to hit,” says Rob Griffin, Executive Vice President, Director of Product Development at Havas Media. AdYapper’s proprietary solutions are leading the industry as the company is now tracking billions of ads, up from zero in April 2013, and has clients ranging from large multi-national brands to agencies and top publishers. Among AdYapper’s advisors are Matt Maloney of GrubHub Seamless, Paul Greenberg formerly of CollegeHumor and Tim Hanlon of Vertere Group. AdYapper is also a TechStars company, beating out over 1700 other companies for a place in the Spring 2013 class.

About AdYapper

AdYapper’s technology tracks display and mobile ads, providing critical situational awareness and transparency into digital ad campaigns, generating detailed verification data, consumer sentiment, and viewability monitoring on 95% of all ad impressions. Real-time analytics are generated across the entire ad buying ecosystem with data centralized into one platform to identify wasted ad spend and provide direction on how best to reallocate the recovered ad spend to make in-flight campaign decisions. AdYapper makes advertising performance data actionable so advertisers can optimize, and increase the efficacy of, their ad buys. AdYapper is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.