Monetization for display ads is changing fast as metrics reveal low ad visibility. But consumers are multi-platform users and must be served across multiple devices.


There were nearly 6 trillion display ad impressions across the web in 2012, but there is still much to do to optimize ads. ComScore research showed that an average of 3 in every 10 ads are never seen, rendered out of view. This wasted inventory, according to ComScore’s 2013 report, Digital Future in Focus, weakens campaign performance, imbalances the supply-and-demand equation and depresses CPMs. But the industry is adopting a standard for viewable impressions where ad platforms monetize depending on inventory value. This “opportunity-to-see” standard is similar to TV ads, and marketers can more effectively compare campaign performance across channels and optimize accordingly.

Ad inventory value depends on engagement and platform appropriateness

The cost of advertising is being pressured from both sides as rapid adoption of programmatic ad buying is pushing CPMs down and media companies are pushing up with engaging content and more valuable audiences. Premium publishers are protecting inventory value with reserve prices, metrics demonstrating value and proving ad effectiveness. These metrics are positioned to show the higher viewability and engagement of their inventory, as well as its effect on consumer behavior and in-store sales. Facebook and Twitter have implemented native ad unit models that are more suited to their social networks, made even more effective due to their multi-platform compatibility.

Targeting and reaching consumers must involve a multi-platform approach

This multi-platform strategy is becoming essential for businesses, as they must anticipate customer usage behavior and deliver content “when and where they want it.” This strategy will incorporate the core digital channels, scaling content to other platforms and integrating content delivery with multi-platform campaigns. This will heavily involve mobile devices along with display ads and video, as consumers spend over 1 in 3 digital media minutes on smartphones and tablets, a figure that will only increase. ComScore predicts that mobile may even take majority share of digital media minutes within the next year.