How long does a mobile ad have to be seen to count as viewed?


July 9, 2016 by Paul Dughi


The answer to the question is less time than is showing on the stopwatch above

So… the definition of a “viewed” mobile ad is 50% of the ad showing for 1 second.  That’s what The Media Rating Council (MRC) says in its revised mobile guidelines.  MRC is an independent group that accredits agencies, products, and rating services.

There’s a disclaimer though.  The one second doesn’t start until half the ad is viewable.  Thanks for clearing that up.

50% of the ad for one second

Untitled-3Now anyone that knows me knows I’m a big proponent of digital advertising.  When it’s done right, it works.  When it’s coupled with other forms of media (like TV), it can do amazing things for businesses.

But seriously?  Half the ad for one second?  You’ve got to be kidding me.  Try selling half a newspaper ad, or half the screen on TV to a business.  Don’t forget, you can only look at it for one second!

But wait… there’s more

The guidelines also talk about “Sub-Second Impressions.”  That’s right.  Ads that are on the screen for less than one second.

They won’t technically county as “viewable impression” for billing purposes, but MRC suggests separate reporting of “Sub-Second Impressions.” These are mobile display ads that appear in a newsfeed with 50% or more of the ad in “continuous view” for more than half a second, but less than a second.

I’m glad to hear that “sub-second impressions” won’t be lumped together with “one-second impressions.”  Does that distinction being made mean some people had been counting less than one-second impressions as viewed?

So, how much would you pay for an ad that shows half the screen for half a second?  We may soon find out.

You can read the guidelines here.

3 thoughts on “How long does a mobile ad have to be seen to count as viewed?

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  2. […] Media Research Council says 50% of an ad has to be showing and visible for at least one second to count as an […]

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