My Impression? Ad Buyer Beware

2014 11 14   Peter Feinstein   Media and Regualtion    

Online properties are betting that an impression is an impression is an impression – or, more simply: All impressions are equal. But that isn’t the case.

There may be as many definitions of what constitutes a payable impression on digital video as there are potential places to see a digital video ad. Okay, so I know I’m exaggerating, but the reality is that there is the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s definition – which to me looks like online robbery but carries some weight – and then other definitions that range from:
All of this is a backdrop to this acquisition (“Yahoo Acquires BrightRoll For $640 Million To Strengthen Programmatic Video Advertising”). Yahoo’s adaptation of the IAB’s definition is certain to generate a significant stream of revenue … as long as the impressions produce return on investment (ROI) somewhere down the line.

  • one-half of the video screen visible to the consumer while the video auto-starts; to
  • several high-value sites that require the user to manually start the video and watch it to its conclusion.

But I don’t believe all impressions are created equal. And for my clients’ money, I’m not willing to pay for impressions that aren’t really there.