Open Measurement Impression Counting Offers More Transparency and Accuracy in Mobile

Beginning this month, we’re introducing a more accurate and reliable form of impression counting that accounts for in-view ads in mobile app, enabled through the IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement SDK (OM SDK). This helps marketers strengthen their viewability measurement and ensure their mobile campaign budgets are spent on ads that can actually be seen by their desired audiences. 

This new impression-counting methodology replaces traditional 1×1 pixel impression counting, which was built for the web and often resulted in reporting discrepancies. Open Measurement Impression Counting instead only counts an impression when a mobile app banner ad comes into view on the consumer’s device, improving reporting and performance. 

With the help of Open Measurement, media buyers can trust that they’ll only pay for mobile app impressions through Index that have been in view of a consumer.

Why was Open Measurement introduced and how does it work?

The IAB Tech Lab created Open Measurement to solve a growing fragmentation problem in mobile advertising. Unlike the web, measuring viewable ads in mobile apps requires more than JavaScript tags placed into creatives. Those tags need access to iOS or Android app code and the SDKs that provide access need high adoption across media owners and SSPs to achieve scale. 

Because the industry lacked standardization, each viewability vendor required its own SDK that would work with their proprietary JavaScript tags. Fragmentation quickly became an issue for both media buyers, who had their preferred viewability vendors, and media owners, who didn’t want to integrate and maintain multiple viewability SDKs.

With the Open Measurement SDK, app developers can integrate the OM SDK to expose an open standard JavaScript API (Open Measurement Interface Definition, or OMID) that their partners can use to measure the viewability of ads.

The beauty of the OM SDK is in its simplicity. It tracks ads as they come into view on screen, and then emits events, such as when an ad is 10%, 50%, or 100% in view, or when it’s clicked. Viewability scripts sit within creatives, listen for OMID events, and then send them to the viewability vendor’s server for reporting and analysis.

The benefits of Open Measurement Impression Counting

We believe that marketers should only pay for impressions that are in view on a consumer’s screen, which is why we’re transitioning to Open Measurement Impression Counting. 

Using the OM SDK, we will now only count mobile app banner impressions that meet the IAB’s and Media Rating Council’s (MRC) begin-to-render standard that at least one pixel of the ad must be in view on the consumer’s screen (known as 1px). Buyers will only be charged if the ad was in view, which can lead to better campaign performance. 

Adhering to industry standards with a single-source SDK makes it easy for buyers, media owners, and app developers to use the same counting methodology and reduces discrepancies in impression counts.

Over the past five months, we’ve been cultivating Open Measurement app supply on our exchange to allow for improved viewability measurement, and now see over 75% adoption. Buyers purchasing mobile app inventory through Index can target OMID using the banner.api == 7 parameter on OpenRTB 2.5+ bid requests. 

Mobile app developers and publishers also benefit from this change to our impression counting methodology. Billing on a 1px standard results in more efficient buying, enticing buyers to increase ad spend.

We encourage app developers to adopt OMID now. As adoption nears 100%, the benefits provided to both media owners and buyers of this improved impression counting methodology will only increase. 

To learn more about Open Measurement Impression Counting, visit our Knowledge Base or contact our team.

Mike Mullin

Mike Mullin

Senior product manager

Mike Mullin is the product lead for mobile at Index Exchange. He also serves as vice chair for the Prebid Mobile Project Management Committee. Prior to joining Index, Mike led Verizon Media’s monetization SDK product efforts. He also held roles at Millennial Media and Jumptap.

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