Remember that report just recently that talked about how confusing it is for some agencies to get into online video advertising, even though they REALLY want to get into online video advertising for their clients? Well, the IAB clearly does as today they put out an updated version of their 2005 video ad definitions document which was called the Broadband Ad Creative Guidelines. How quaint.
In order to get brands, agencies and marketers onboard with online video advertising we need to make it easier for them to understand, analyze and determine an ROI. Part of that is making sure that we use a standard set of definitions in regards to the technology, metrics and ad formats. You and I might know the difference between linear and non-linear, overlay and non-overlay, but that doesn't mean that everyone else in the world does. The IAB has set out to define common formats, metrics and other facets of the video advertising industry in hopes that agencies and brands can more easily work with the technology providers, ad networks, etc.
Part of that initiative is a three document set talking about digital video ads of which this particular document is a part. The goal of the document is to help us all use the same terminology and bring some standard meanings to them. In turn, that should help others understand what it is we are talking about and help them with their own analysis for ad effectiveness, engagement, etc. To do that, the IAB is asking for input from us on the document.
What's New for Video In-stream Ad Metric Definitions?
There have been many changes in digital video advertising over the past few years and new terms have come into use, superceded older terms or become disused. In order to keep up, some new items have been added.
Ad Expand/Collapse - This is a non-user initiated metric that looks at the ad itself expanding or collapsing as opposed to player expand/collapse which talks about the user initiating an expansion or collapse of the player itself.
Skip - A user-initiated player interaction where they skip a linear video ad via interaction with a control mechanism (usually a button or overlay).
Other ad interaction - If it doesn't have a specific interaction in the document it falls into this bucket.
What's Out for Video In-stream Ad Metric Definitions?
Non-overlay, nonlinear ads - Commonly referred to as Companion Ads, so this terms is being removed from the document. It is a video ad that does not play in the main video content player but instead is somewhere else on the page. There is a list of set sizes for these ads as well.
View - That most controversial of all video metrics, is now out. The problem is that it is too closely linked to "impressions," which have no time component and so make for terrible video ad tracking. However, 'creative view,' might still be used which is a more technical term related to encoding, format, etc. Not used for measuring user engagement.
Player vs. Ad Metrics
A major issue is the difference between a player metric and an ad metric for evaluating performance. By grouping player interactions they hope to improve analysis of each. As I noted above, player expand/collapse is now used to delineate it from ad or creative expand/collapse.
With the continued evolution of online video ads and more and more interactive elements I imagine this will be an ongoing process to keep the documents up to date. Perhaps, now, they need a PSA campaign aimed at brands, agencies and marketers to tell them that this set of documents exists for their use.