IAB and MRC release the first update to in-game ad measurement standards since 2009

In a joint collaboration between IAB, IAB Tech Lab, and the Media Rating Council (MRC), IAB has released its first update to in-game ad measurement standards since 2009.

The updated standards will address ad viewability, measurement, inactivity, and fraud with intrinsic in-game (IIG) ads bringing them up to par with the rest of digital media. IAB defines intrinsic in-game ads as native in-game or in-play ads that are placed ‘in the game’ enabling a seamless part of the gameplay environment.

“Gaming represents a huge opportunity for marketers,” said Zoe Soon, VP, IAB Experience Center. “With 227 million gamers in the US, and over 3 billion globally by the end of this year, it’s a major entertainment channel, especially for Gen Z, the next generation of household decision-makers and spenders. We are updating the 2009 in-game guidelines to help marketers tap into this attention oasis and measure outcomes with confidence and transparency.”

The updated IIG measurement standards:

Re-examines the 10-second cumulative exposure duration for counting a valid impression including “sight, sound, and motion”, as well as 3D and virtual environments.

Incorporates new advertising formats beyond two-dimensional and video as it relates to viewability within in-game environments.

Defines in-game measurement terms (impressions, reach / frequency, and engagement) to align with broader cross-channel measurement efforts.

By 2009 standards, an in-game ad impression was only counted after 10 seconds of continuous exposure to campaign creative. With the new update, a static or display ad impression is counted if 50% (or greater) of the pixels in the ad are in focus in the viewable space of the device for at least one continuous second post ad render. 

Video or dynamic ads also require greater than or equal to 50% of the ad pixels to be in focus on the display device view, but the duration requirement is increased to 2 continuous seconds. 

“With IIG, we will have viewability standards within in-game environments and guidelines for tracking impression measurement, display ad viewability, and invalid traffic, taken into account with various technical factors such as screen size, resolution, angle, and lighting,” said Shailley Singh, SVP, Product Management & Global Programs, IAB Tech Lab. “These will be important factors as we prepare to scale advertising in gaming and expand growth in advertising for marketers and their partners as they operate in a relatively new space.”

Written by Jordan Bevan

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