Sorrell: Online Video Viewability Standards “Ludicrous”

Sorrell-FFWPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell has called for improvements in the way that online video viewability is measured, in order to achieve parity with the world of offline media measurement.

Speaking via satellite link to an audience of newspaper publishers at The Newspaper Works Future Forum conference in Sydney, taking place now, Sorrell described the viewership of videos on Facebook as “very sexy, and at the other end of the spectrum to legacy print.” But he added: “The standards applied to viewership are extremely low. Over half of all video is watched online without the sound.

“The scale used for viewership is three seconds, and that I would say is ludicrous in relationship to the traditional viewability or readership standards that TV and newspapers have to meet. The hurdles a Nielsen or a Kantar [audience measurement service] applies to offline readership is much higher than the standard applied to online measurement services.”

Sorrell was also quizzed about the rise of programmatic, and told delegates that they would be wrong to try to fight it. “You can’t fight the rise of programmatic,” Sorrell said. “It would be like King Canute fighting the waves.”