While media planning and buying giant Carat USA would like to replace the industry’s current viewability standards for digital ads with a time-based currency, it thinks there isn’t enough quality content to trade on such a metric. The agency’s preferred metric would focus on things like time, cost per view or cost per completion, USA CEO Doug Ray says in an interview with Beet.TV at the annual IAB MIXX conference in Manhattan.

“I think we’d love to get to that metric and where we’ve seen that metric be put in place it’s been very valuable,” Ray says. “I think the problem is quality content. Are there enough publishers with quality content that are trading on that metric? There just aren’t today.”

Until enough of that kind of content is available to trade on a time-based currency, “We’re still going to need the viewability measures that are in place today so that we have the ability to scale what our clients are looking for in the marketplace,” Ray says.

Carat has long been a proponent of common currencies for measuring digital ads, particularly across platforms and devices. But there are caveats attached to the desire in some quarters for audience measurement standardization, according to Ray.

“The caution I would have is not every campaign requires us to be looking at media in exactly the same way,” Ray says.

For example, establishing a common metric around reach and frequency and impressions “is fantastic for those campaigns that require us to look much more at awareness,” where reach and frequency is important, Ray says.

“But many clients are looking at direct response metrics, and for valuing media based on an action it really doesn’t matter what the reach and frequency is,” Ray adds.

Recent solutions for cross-platform audience delivery and verification are a welcome sign of where the industry is headed. “It’s really allowed us to have some common currency across linear and digital video and that’s been fantastic in terms of allowing our clients to move money from one platform to another,” says Ray.

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB MIXX Conference, 2016, presented by The TradeDesk. Please find additional videos from the Conference here.

IAB MIXX Conference 2016, presented by The TradeDesk