New guidelines released for online video ad viewability, as growth hits 51%

New guidelines released for online video ad viewability, as growth hits 51% Rachael Power writes for TechForge Media, writing about marketing tech, connected cars and virtual reality. She has written for a number of online and print titles including the Irish Times, Irish Examiner, accountingWEB and BusinessZone. Rachael has a passion for digital marketing, journalism, gaming and fitness, and is on Twitter at: @rachpower10.


As Google rightly noted recently, video is no longer the future for marketing – it’s already here. As it’s become standard practice – growing 51% last year – the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEB) has just published guidelines for advertisers around online viewability. 

The four guidelines are based on a cross-industry group that feeds into the independent body, in addition to learnings from the Media Ratings Council and Internet Advertising Bureau. 

They include:

  • Reporting on the percentage of area and viewable time: JICWEBS recommends a product used for viewability measurement must be able to report the percentage of an area viewable over time
  • Reporting viewable impressions, including special cases: The product must be able to count viewable impressions based on a specific threshold of both percentage of area and continuous time. A product vendor must disclose when modelling is used to estimate viewable impression counts and also when clicks are used as a proxy for viewable impressions 
  • Disclosure of what’s measured: Whether this is the video content itself, container, video player
  • Measurement and asset render requirements: What point measurement happens in relation to asset render must be disclosed

The guidelines exclude mobile, but apply to products reporting the opportunity to see a banner and video content on a website.

“Video spend is growing at over three times the rate of overall online spend, consequently, advertisers are becoming more focused in their demand for greater transparency in this area,” said JICWEBS’ Chairman Richard Foan.

“This update helps their conversations with the sell-side and viewability vendors, to improve understanding of and trust in digital advertising.”

Brand safety

JICWEBS has also awarded 36 organisations – including AOL, Yahoo and Criteo – year-long seals confirming that they meet industry-agreed standards to reduce the risk of ads being served next to inappropriate or illegal content online.

The certs were given as part of the recent viewability and recent anti-fraud initiatives, 

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