Advertisers that run multi-channel video campaigns across different digital environments will tell you that it is not easy to measure viewability. One of the main challenges is that the industry has used multiple ad tag formats such as VPAID, VAST, and the Open Measurement Interface Definition (OMID), and each one offers varying levels of measurement support across desktop, mobile, and CTV environments. As a result, many in the industry continue to use different tags for different environments. Unfortunately this approach results in operational inefficiencies and is prone to error.

For example, let’s say you are running an Over-the-Top (OTT) video campaign across different devices including CTV, and you wish to measure viewability and completion where possible. To do this, most in the industry would utilize at least two tags: One VPAID tag targeting inventory that supports viewability measurement through VPAID, and a second VAST tag with standard creative, targeting CTV and other environments that lack VPAID support. This multi-tag approach results in additional time spent managing multiple tags, stitching together data, as well as fixing integration mistakes and measurement inaccuracies.

The good news is that the solution to this problem already exists and was put in place years ago through the foundation of nearly all video ad serving technology. The IAB’s VAST architecture is able to support measurement across different platforms in one VAST tag. Most buyers utilize this same architecture today to serve different types of creatives to both small mobile screens and large CTV screens. However, what most in the industry aren’t aware of, possibly due to the historical push for VPAID across all environments, is this same VAST architecture can be leveraged for measurement and verification.

DoubleVerify has been leveraging the IAB VAST standards in this way since Q4 2016, well ahead of other providers. While a number of third-party verification providers are centered around VPAID, DV’s Video OmniTag allows clients to utilize a single VAST tag across CTV, mobile and desktop environments. We combine standard pixel measurement, OMID, VPAID, and standard video creatives into one VAST tag. Per VAST specifications, video players then choose which to use based on what they support. This approach offers you better operational efficiency and is not prone to human error.

This approach also enables support for the varying measurement technologies as they are developed and adopted. For example, as the Open Measurement SDK gains industry adoption, DV’s VAST approach ensures clients can immediately utilize OMID measurement.

Today, all our clients are able to use our Video OmniTags in managed service capacity and on May 12th, they will be able to generate those tags using our self-service tag generator tool further improving their productivity.

The industry needs to continue working together in order to further scale adoption and improve measurement accuracy. When it comes to CTV, DoubleVerify is leading the way, working directly with the IAB TechLab, advertisers, publishers, and supply side video platforms on driving adoption of scalable standardized solutions.

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