While digital ad viewability probably won’t be the “topic de jure” at CES 2017, GroupM is taking into account modifiers for U.S. feed-based video advertising as it takes its own viewability standards global, according to Chief Digital Officer Rob Norman. “It’s pretty well known that the GroupM viewability standards aren’t met by feed-based environments,” Norman says in an interview with Beet.tv.

This isn’t to suggest that GroupM does not have clients advertising in feed-based video. The media investment giant takes into account data showing the duration of views and uses that data “as a modifier when we’re advising clients as to how they allocate their money between different video platforms,” Norman says.

GroupM also is working on evolving viewability standards for such formats as outstream video, according to Norman. Outside of the mobile environment, the company “increasingly and almost exclusively” uses its standards for making client investment decisions.

Norman expresses disappointment that the market hasn’t “responded in the way one had hoped in terms of producing platform-specific creative.” In many environments, “I think for a lot of advertisers, very short format video remains a problem other than for simple brand recognition and depth point of view,” he adds.

It’s GroupM’s view that most media will end up embracing standards that the company can trade to, but for a lot of feed-based media it will examine duration data “and use that as a modifier about what we’re prepared to pay and how we allocate it,” Norman says.

When discussing standards and modifiers, Norman says the goal is to find the best instruments to value the duration of a view in any given platform.

“The outstream issue is different from the feed-based one because you’re not looking at it in a scrolling environment, you’re often not looking at it in an autoplay environment,” he says.

As for the difference between a standard and a modifier, Norman says it comes down to the specific use case.

“We thought the standard was absolutely necessary in the desktop display environment because we felt the physical nature of desktop publishing needed to be cleaned up to make ads viewable,” he explains.

It’s not the same scenario with regard to the mobile, feed-based environment. “It’s the actual measurement of time and exposure that needs to be established. They’re different use cases,” Norman says.

This interview is part of our series “The Road to CES,” a lead-up series in advance of CES 2017. The series is presented by FreeWheel. Please find more videos from the series here.

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