It seems obvious marketers should only pay for ads people can see, but when it comes to Internet advertising that hasn’t always been the case.

In an attempt to remedy that situation the online media industry is changing. Marketers are increasingly opting to purchase only ads they have some certainty are visible to users, as opposed to ones tucked away on parts of Web pages that are never exposed to users’ eyes.

This move towards “viewable” advertising will have a significant impact on ad-supported websites. Most will have fewer ads to sell, which could cause their revenues to dip unless they figure out a way to charge more for the ads they’re left with.

Last week the The Media Rating Council — the  industry association that establishes common media measurement standards — gave its seal of approval to new technology that measures whether a display ad is able to be viewed or not. It advised that marketers should begin buying ads based on these new “viewability” metrics if they wish.

Ad sellers are now figuring out how best to adapt their ad practices for this new landscape. Despite challenges, some predict the shift will actually have a positive impact on their businesses in the long-term.

According to Mike Kisseberth, Chief Revenue Officer at technology publisher TechMedia Network, viewable ads will deliver better performance for marketers, which will in turn increase demand for that ad space.

“Increased demand for a class of inventory, when managed properly, should result in increased yield,” Mr. Kisseberth said, describing viewable ads as “great news for the industry that in the long-run will benefit everyone.”


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