IAB Tech Lab launches Open Measurement SDK V1.3 for independent viewability measurement

David Murphy

A view of a cityscape through a pair of spectaclesIAB Tech Lab has announced the release of Open Measurement SDK Version 1.3. It’s the latest version of the IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement SDK that launched in April 2018 to address the issue of independent viewability measurement. The OM SDK eliminated the need for multiple vendor integrations by supporting all of them and took into account input from across the ecosystem in the process. 

Since its general availability release, over 50 OM SDK integrations have been certified via the IAB Tech Lab. With measurement coverage now across billions of mobile devices globally, industry scale for Open Measurement is becoming a reality. So much so that it was utilized in measurement for the majority of Integral Ad Science’s in-app impressions by the end of Q3 2019.

OM SDK V1.3 is easier to integrate, easier to activate, and better-aligned with MRC (Media Rating Council) guidelines. Since the API for Open Measurement (OMID) follows a semantic versioning system, OMID 1.3 will be a minor release and therefore will be backwards compatible with verification scripts using earlier release versions (e.g. 1.1, 1.2). For app and SDK integration partners looking to adopt the new features introduced in this release, code changes will be required to add new API calls and events.

The new version of the SDK offers audio ad measurement for the first time, since over 75 per cent of US internet users will listen to digital audio by 2020, according to eMarketer. Outside of display, video and native, this is the first time a new media type has been added to Open Measurement.

Another new feature is content-level brand safety. Brand safety for mobile in-app advertising has traditionally been limited to the scoring of the app itself as opposed to specific content within the app. This means that a news app would have a single set of scores for it rather than separate scores for each article that a user could read in the app.

The impact here can be significant for both publishers and advertisers. For instance, in the event of a terrorist attack, many advertisers are forced to cease delivery across the news category given the level of uncertainty around what their ads may display next to. These limitations are the result of a lack of information made available to ad technology: only an ID for the app is present.

In an effort to provide greater control to advertisers and better protect publisher yield, the new version of the SDK introduces the concept of content URLs for mobile in-app. With this new value, app publishers offering content with a web equivalent may now pass the corresponding web URL for verification purposes.

Finally, the SDK offer a set of new impression definitions. In 2018, the MRC introduced new ‘Begin to Render’ requirements for measurement of digital display impressions. Unfortunately, these requirements aren’t easy for all members of the ecosystem to abide by and have resulted in impression counting discrepancies between various vendors, ad servers, and publishers.
To remedy this and better align the industry with MRC guidelines, IAB Tech Lab has created a simplified system for impression definitions and introduced a new begin-to-render impression event.

This progress is in large part due to the support of our community (our IAB Tech Lab Working Group features members from more than 65 companies) and tireless efforts from Commit Group members at Comscore, DoubleVerify, Google, Integral Ad Science, Microsoft, Nielsen, Pandora, and the IAB Tech Lab. Given the collaborative nature of this project, we continue to receive incredibly useful feedback and have incorporated it into the next major milestone in the Open Measurement initiative.

You can find out more about the OM SDK Version 1.3, OMID 1.3 API, onboarding process and compliance here.