Nine overhauls ad inventory to improve viewability in effort to maintain trust with marketers

In light of scandals plaguing various digital platforms, Nine has overhauled its advertising inventory across the websites in a bid to provide marketers and their agencies with greater transparency around viewability and maintain trust in the digital space.


Speaking to Mumbrella, Ben Gunn, Nine director of sales, digital, said the move by Nine was an “important step” in maintaining trust.

Ben Gunn:”It’s hard to escape a week going by where there’s not a platform caught up in some type of scandal”

“When it comes to viewability the key point is we’re trying to make the industry more transparent for marketers so they don’t lose trust or they can maintain trust with the digital industry. So for us viewability is one of those important steps in maintaining that,” he said.

“It’s hard to escape a week going by where there’s not a platform caught up in some type of scandal.

“That is not great for the industry when that happens. As a major publisher in Australia we have to lead the way and really try and make the industry more accountable and have a standard everyone can accept and measure its success by.”

Gunn was referring to issues around the misreporting of figures by Facebook and statistics revealing more than half of American adults skip ads on Snapchat.

In overhauling its inventory, Nine says it has optimised its websites to load faster. The publisher has also designed new sticky ads in an effort to optimise viewability on websites.

Nine has partnered with third-party verification vendors Integral Ad Science and Moat while also implementing third-party viewability tracking in the 9Now iOS and Android apps.

Central to the changes revealed by Nine is a commitment to meeting the MRC viewability standards and providing advertisers with the ability to transact on viewable impressions across display with video to be available by the end of the quarter.

The MRC definition of a viewable impression is 50% of the ad’s pixels in view for one continuous second for display, 30% of pixels in view for one continuous second for large-canvas display formats and 50% of pixels in view for two continuous seconds for video.

On meeting the MRC standard, Gunn said: “It’s not a way a business has had to think about things before.

“A lot of work goes on in the background to getting placement up to that standard alone. Do I think that means this is where it should begin and end? Absolutely not. We should all be striving to make all ads as viewable as possible.

“One of the things that can be missed when you start thinking about ‘Is the ad in view?’, is another part of the equation which is: How long is the ad actually being seen for?

“Some of the changes we’re making around our sticky ad formats, where we’re ensuring the ad stays viewable for a number of seconds means we’re actually smashing any MRC standard by three times or greater.”

Gunn admitted there is “no miracle cure for viewability”.

“For us at Nine it’s important to focus on two areas and that’s great content and great products,” he said.

“That’s what engages audiences but also engages advertisers. If we stick to that it’s more about treating the disease, not the symptoms.”

The overhaul sees Nine provide advertisers with the ability to transact on viewable impressions across display.

“It’s a matter of advertisers or agencies requesting to trade on viewability and essentially we ensure we monitor those placements to deliver against the MRC standards and if there is any under-delivery on that then we make that up in a similar fashion as what is outlined by the MRC,” explained Gunn.


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