Sizmek Intros Video Verification

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The agency becomes the latest combatant in the war against unviewable video ads.

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Digital video advertising will grow 42% this year to nearly $6 billion, according to eMarketer—but the nagging question for marketers is how much of their video content is actually being viewed. A test performed by digital agency Sizmek in this year's first quarter determined that 28% of 1.2 billion videos served were delivered on pages with negative content. More than 10%, Sizmek found, ended up in non-video environments such as in-banner ads, rich media video, or thumbnail-sized players.

Today Sizmek becomes one of a small but growing group of agencies and software companies offering marketers a way to check up on the validity of their video investments. Its Video Verification tool analyzes site and domain information for brand safety, page context, geographic information, and device information. In addition, it includes page quality related to video, including video player position, player size, detection of multiple players, detection of non-video pages, ad starts, and auto-play units.

“Verifying the placement of media is important to advertisers and is often a challenge in digital due to the complex nature of ad purchase and delivery,” says Siobhan Crowe, global digital advertising manager for Reckitt Benckiser, which was one of the beta testers of Sizmek's verification tool. “In surfacing and understanding the issues in media buying, we can then take steps to manage and prevent these placements.”

The rampant popularity of video advertising is also one of its chief detractors as a viable medium. Demand far exceeds quality inventory, and Sizmek's and other verification programs have determined that even reputable media companies and publishers continue to sell impressions for unviewable positions.

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