Origami Logic’s “Now You Know” blog series answers common questions and “how to’s” for marketing measurement best practices. This series features subject matter experts, guest authors, and Origami Logic team members to provide solutions and insight into marketing must-know topics like agile marketing analytics, campaign performance measurement, video impressions, marketing KPIs, and marketing attribution… Learn how to address these topics and leverage the Origami Logic platform features to master marketing performance measurement and maximize your marketing investments.

In this blog post, learn the varying definitions for video impressions across publishers and why understanding the differences matters for accurately measuring campaign performance.

As the digital video space grows rapidly, measuring results is getting even harder because companies like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and DoubleClick Campaign Manager are all making up their own rules for reporting data. Each publisher has different definitions for calculating key KPIs like impressions, cost per completed view, (CPCV), click through rates (CTR), and more. So why can they all have different definitions? Let’s take a look at one of the most common KPIs, video impressions, to find out.

Video Impressions for Calculating Engagement

Let’s say your latest video is ready to go and driving engagement is your campaign goal. How will you know if your campaign is successful? The best way to determine this is how many video impressions you receive on that particular campaign. The problem is, that the IAB definition for impressions is extremely broad:

“A served ad impression can be classified as a viewable impression if the ad was contained in the viewable space of the browser window, on an in-focus browser tab, based on pre-established criteria such as the percent of ad pixels within the viewable space and the length of time the ad is in the viewable space of the browser. It is recognized that an “opportunity to see” the ad exists with a viewable ad impression, which may or may not be the case with a served ad impression.”
– IAB Definition for Impressions

Understand the Differences in Publisher Definitions

Since the industry standard definition is so broad, publishers are making their own variation. When you are evaluating campaign results this can cause problems because video impressions aren’t calculated the same across the board. Let’s take a look at top publisher definitions for video impressions.

video impression publisher definitions

DoubleClick Campaign Manager Video Impression Definition

Impression: “The number of times that a user’s browser requested and was sent an ad during the specified date range.”

(Video impression tracking differs: For in-stream and VPAID creatives, DCM does not log an impression until the video has buffered enough to start playing. In-stream and VPAID creatives use pre-fetch tags, which request content first and log the impression only once the video is ready to start playing.)

YouTube Video Impression Definition

Views: “The number of times people watched or engaged with your video ad.”

Note: TrueView video ads views will count toward a public YouTube view count only if the video is longer than 11 sec.

Facebook Video Impression Definition

Impression: “Each time an ad can be viewed when it enters a person’s screen on the Facebook Audience Network”

Twitter Video Impression Definition

video_starts = Number of times a user begins to watch a video.

video_total_views = Views which are at least 50% in view for 2 seconds, per the MRC standard. This MRC view is used for the default VIEW bid_unit for Video View campaigns.

video_3s100pct_views = This was Twitter’s original video view definition of 100% in view for at least 3 seconds.

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