The year of mobile has been upon us for quite some time. In-app environments offer unprecedented access to individuals as well as troves of data on specific users that devices such as television and desktop cannot provide. Mobile is arguably one of the most valuable advertising platforms to date. However, the lack of available and ubiquitous measurement options to accurately quantify that value has been missing. Lee Garfield, programmatic director at Zynga agreed, “It has generally been accepted that there has been not a real simple way to measure in-app.”
Despite limited scale in independent mobile verification, advertising dollars have continued to flow toward the channel resulting in exponential growth year over year. In a report by IAB Australia, mobile generated 3.1 billion dollars in the 2017 fiscal year, steadily catching up with search revenue. Experts believe that mobile has yet to reach its full potential. In the well-known ‘Internet Trends’ report, Mary Meeker continues to espouse the potential of mobile, comparing the large amount of time spent on mobile to other channels. This is mirrored in recent data by Integral Ad Science (IAS), which used IAS data to capture the way audiences shift their attention from television to mobile, even during anticipated television events.
Increasing investment in mobile means that there is an ever-growing need for independent verification. With any investment, transparency is of the utmost importance because it ensures that every dollar spent can be attributed back to a result. Without transparency, optimisation cannot occur and therefore efficiencies cannot be identified.
Until now, measurement vendors offered in-app measurement via proprietary software development kits (SDK). As each vendor had their own SDK, it resulted in app developers either choosing one vendor (resulting in market fragmentation and reporting discrepancies) or integrating multiple SDKs (affecting app quality and user experience).
The open measurement SDK (OM SDK) solves for this by creating a ubiquitous, single source of truth where all vendors and publishers have equal access to the viewability signals. Thereby, moving measurement to a universal system like mobile web. This is possible because there is only a single SDK that needs to be integrated.
The OM SDK enables independent, true third-party measurement that is both accurate and actionable. It creates efficiencies as it is lightweight and easy to integrate, helping developers to preserve user experience. he OM SDK allows for in-app measurement to scale, meaning that at full market adoption it will measure 100% of the ad buys.
An industry-wide effort
Several years in the making, IAS created a proprietary SDK with open measurement as the ultimate goal. The IAB Tech Lab assumed governance of IAS’s open measurement initiative in January 2017. IAS efforts were transferred to the Open Measurement Working Group, where IAS now sits on a leadership team of Commit Group members which includes comScore, DoubleVerify, Google, Moat, Pandora, and the IAB Tech Lab.
Since its general market availability, adoption of the OM SDK is underway. IAS is working with early adopters like Pandora, Flipboard, Google and other publishers and SSPS to integrate the OM SDK. At IAS, we are proud to be the lynchpin for this initiative and we look forward to working closely with all members of the mobile industry to drive adoption and enhanced measurement. Our goal of creating a simple, unbiased and transparent viewability measurement within the in-app environment will ultimately result in a better understanding of the channel and therefore increased performance and ROI.
App publishers or SSP/networks looking to learn more about integrating the OM SDK can contact the IAB Tech Lab at firstname.lastname@example.org.