Impression (internet)Feedback.png


Definition

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), an impression (also called a view) is "a single display of online content to a user’s web-enabled device." Thus it is the number of times the ad is displayed, whether it is clicked on or not. Each display counts as a single impression. "Many websites sell advertising space by the number of impressions displayed to users. An online advertisement impression is a single appearance of an advertisement on a web page. Each time an advertisement loads onto a user's screen, the ad server may count that loading as one impression. However, the ad server may be programmed to exclude from the count certain non-qualifying activity such as a reload, internal user actions, and other events that the advertiser and ad serving company agreed to not count."[1]

Because of the possibility of click fraud, robotic activity is usually filtered and excluded. Thus, a more technical definition is given for accounting purposes by the IAB, a standards and watchdog industry group: Impression is "a measurement of responses from a Web server to a page request from the user browser, which is filtered from robotic activity and error codes, and is recorded at a point as close as possible to opportunity to see the page by the user."[2]

Purpose

Counting impressions is a method of estimating "opportunities to see" and the cost is quoted in cost per impression (CPI). (By contrast, cost per click is not impression-based).

Construction

The process of estimating reach and frequency begins with data that sum all of the impressions from different advertisements to arrive at total "gross" impressions.

      Impressions (#) = Reach (#) x Average Frequency (#)

Served Impressions versus Viewable Impressions

A movement is underway to move from the current standard of served impressions, to a new standard of viewable impressions.[3] The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) have joined forces in an initiative called 3MS (Making Measurement Make Sense), with the purpose of better defining the value of display media. Served impressions are the current industry standard and "measure whether an ad had been served by an ad server, not if it is rendered on the screen fully enough and for a long enough time for consumers to see it."[4] The 3MS advocates a switch to viewable impressions. On March 31, 2014, The Media Rating Council lifted its advisory on viewable impressions and gave a "green light to the industry to begin transacting on the new metric for the first time."[5]

References

  1. ^ IAB. IAB Interactive Advertising Wiki: Impression. <http://www.iab.net/wiki/index.php/Impression> (cited 23 April 2014).
  2. ^ IAB. Glossary of Interactive Advertising Terms v. 2.0. <http://www.iab.net/media/file/GlossaryofInteractivAdvertisingTerms.pdf> (cited 23 April 2014).
  3. ^ Mane, Sherill. Measuring Return From Interactive Advertising. MASB Summer Board Meeting and Summit, August 2012. (cited 13 March 2013).
  4. ^ 3MS. Principles and Solutions: Defining Impressions. <http://measurementnow.net/principles-solutions/> (cited 23 April 2014).
  5. ^ 3MS. Press Release: Media Rating Council Lifts Advisory on Viewable Impressions for Display Ads. <http://measurementnow.net/press-release-media-rating-council-lifts-advisory-viewable-impressions-display-ads/#.U1f7_1dp8g9> (cited 23 April 2014).

NewComment.png
We welcome comments that will help us improve the precision and clarity of our definitions. To submit a suggestion, please click on the Add Discussion bar below.
Notes:
  • Comments are limited to registered users of this site. Click “Join” at the top right hand side of this page to apply.
  • If you would like to suggest a new marketing definition or have a general comment, please visit our home page.