Measurement Standards for In-Game Advertising Released (finally!)

Sep 1, 2022

In a joint collaboration between IAB, IAB Tech Lab, and the Media Rating Council (MRC), IAB has released its Intrinsic In-Game (IIG) Measurement Guidelines to establish updated measurement guidelines for in-game advertising. AdInMo is proud to have collaborated in their development as part of a global taskforce.

They say good things come to those who wait. In 2009, the iPhone had been in market for two years and the first Android phone was barely a year old. It was the beginning of V2.0 of the mobile games ecosystem. And yet, in 2009, the IAB had the foresight to launch its first release of the In-Game Advertising Measurement Guidelines.

Fast-forward 10 years and in-game advertising pioneers aspired to adopt the 2009 standards as best practice, but it was clear they were not fit for purpose with gaming environments and ad technology in a vastly different stage of development.

AdInMo joined IAB UK with a key goal to advocate for change in the emerging in-game ecosystem and co-chaired the in-game advertising measurement sub-group.

There was great engagement in the sub-group and the group published a taxonomy as a first step, but the game-changer (pun intended) was when the Media Ratings Council (MRC) and IAB Tech Lab put their weight behind the discussions and brought all relevant stakeholders to the table.

AdInMo’s tech and product teams participated in the US-UK taskforce where the objective was to release updated measurement guidelines and establish a specific measurement framework to be embraced by both buy and sell sides.

The group published a taxonomy as a positive first step, but the game-changer (pun intended) was when the Media Ratings Council (MRC) and IAB Tech Lab put its weight behind the discussions bringing all relevant stakeholders to the table.

Representatives from AdInMo’s tech and product teams were part of the US-UK taskforce actively contributing to and reviewing the updated measurement guidelines to establish a specific measurement framework to be embraced by both buy and sell sides.

Working at an impressive pace, on 31st August, in a joint collaboration between IAB, IAB Tech Lab, and the MRC, IAB released its Intrinsic In-Game (IIG) Measurement Guidelines to establish updated measurement guidelines for ads that appear within gameplay.

So what are the guidelines?

The taskforce agreed a narrow scope for the initial release focused on in-game ad placements served by an ad sever with a corresponding ad session. This includes Display and Video ads.

The updated standards address ad viewability, measurement, inactivity, and fraud with in-game ads bringing them up to par with the rest of digital media and to help establish uniform standards needed to create consistency across the in-game advertising marketplace.

And what do they mean?

Standards are important to help accelerate adoption of emerging formats. They provide credibility and reassurance to the ad ecosystem. The release of the measurement guidelines is a major milestone on AdInMo’s journey to make in-game advertising part of the standard media buying mix.

They recognise the unique environment and aspects of in-game formats and help level the playing field so everyone is talking and crucially reporting viewed impressions in the same way.

Publishers and developers testing new ad monetization partners in a ‘bake-off’ will now be reassured they are not comparing apples and oranges. In-Game Advertising planners and buyers can use the guidelines to determine the quality of measurement when it comes to ad delivery and viewability.

V2.2.2 of our InGamePlay SDK is already compliant with the guidelines.

Now the job at hand is to encourage all industry stakeholders to adopt the recommendations. Ultimately, this will help drive growth in the ecosystem for both advertisers and developers armed with consistent metrics and the ability to better forecast monetization opportunities.

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