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State of the Screens

Media buyers (again) shrug off Facebook’s latest video metrics screwup

By November 2, 2018No Comments

A group of advertisers is now claiming that Facebook overestimated some of its video metrics by up to 900%!

Key passage from Suzanne Vranica via The Wall Street Journal:
Facebook told some advertisers that it likely overestimated average time spent watching videos by 60% to 80%. The plaintiffs alleged in Tuesday’s complaint that the error was much larger and that the average viewership metrics had been inflated by some 150% to 900%.

Why this matters: Defining a video view across networks/platforms is hard and Facebook made that job more difficult for advertisers by giving them incorrect metrics.

BTW: YouTube is lowering the view threshold on certain ad types from 30s to 10s.

Other groups such as Business Insider are going the opposite direction and raising their definition of a view to 30s.

Quote from Harry Harcus — Managing Direction, UK and Pan-Regional @ Xaxis:
“Viewability in itself isn’t quite enough. We are keen to be able to measure a transactionable media buy for clients. So rather than clients buying on a CPM or even for viewability, they buy on a cost-per-5-second exposure — 5 seconds being a sweet spot of time, based on the research we’ve done for brand uplift metrics. And for video, we are saying to clients, ‘Don’t buy the CPM, buy the cost for completed view.”

Flashback #1: Down with viewability: MRC chief says it’s time to move past ‘marketplace fixation’

Flashback #2: Brands With Their Own Viewability Standards Are Causing Headaches for the Ad-Tech Industry

Current MRC standard — 50% of video ad should be in view for at least 2 consecutive seconds

New IBM standard — 100% of video ad must be in view for at least half of the video length (Ex: 15s of 30s ad)

Watch: Scott Knoll, CEO @ Integral Ad Science, discussing how critical video view length is in determining the value of an ad.

More #1: A First-Time View Of ‘In-View,’ Report Benchmarks Desktop, Mobile, Video & Display

More #2: Advertisers Allege Facebook Failed to Disclose Key Metric Error for More Than a Year

More #3: VW Is More Than Willing To Pay Higher CPMs For Guaranteed Viewability

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.