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WashPost CRO Kevin Gentzel on ad viewability

Occasionally we will feature guest posts from a variety of voices within The Washington Post. Today, Kevin Gentzel, our chief revenue officer, shares his thoughts on ad viewability. Gentzel (@KevGentzel) will be speaking at the Financial Times Digital Media Conference on Wednesday about content economics.

Viewability – it’s coming, and online publishers of high-quality journalism should be celebrating it.  As Comscore research has shown, over half (54%) of online ad impressions served are not viewable. This very real factor has created much stress on our industry, including producing an unsustainable amount of inventory which, because of the seemingly limitless supply, has put extreme pressure on CPMs.

Publishers that are investing significant amounts of money and resources in staffing newsrooms around the globe, technology in user experience and design, should be running to viewability, as it will almost certainly take out bad actors who have been infiltrating the industry.

The BUT here is that there are still large discrepancies between third parties measuring viewability. Some aren’t measuring mobile.  Others aren’t measuring all browser types. It will get better though, and The Washington Post heralds this industry standard.