The global adoption of Open Measurement SDK in mobile video advertising is finally gaining track. Now’s the time to get a grip.

The integration of ad verification & video ad measurement tech in mobile apps has historically been somewhat a trickier matter, than on desktop and mobile web.

The reason is simple: the process usually implies the integration of a third-party vendor’s SDK, and most of such companies are using their proprietary software development kit.

As a result, publishers either need to integrate all SDKs separately, increasing the volume of code in their mobile app (hence its weight, too), or face a reality of not being able to monetize their inventory with premium demand partners. None of which seems like an efficient way to go.

In view of this, back in April 2018 IAB Tech Lab introduced a new set of tools, specifically developed to streamline the verification of actionable metrics measurement of in-app ads, known as the Open Measurement Software Development Kit (OM SDK).

Benefits of Open Measurement SDK

The distinctive benefit of OM SDK is that it actually eliminates the necessity to integrate multiple third-party tech vendors’ SDKs into a publisher’s app, instead offering a unified, standardized solution, which, in fact, simplifies the in-app measurement process for all parties.

In particular, OM SDK helps minimize app publishers’ integration and maintenance efforts, while making advertisers’ access to third-party ad verification tags more transparent and flexible, hence reducing the discrepancies and making the entire measurement process more accurate and more effective.

In the context of news-related inventory, the implementation of OM SDK also enables publishers to take leverage from the brand safety verification capabilities on the content level. Namely, the functionality enables publishers offering in-app content with a web equivalent to submit their web content URLs for separate brand safety verification, hence mitigating app blacklisting risks.

From End Users’ perspective, the implementation of OM SDK facilitates the overall user experience by reducing the device memory & CPU consumption, and even minimizing app crashes.

How to Implement OM SDK

From a technical perspective, OM SDK provides a set of native libraries (Android/iOS), along with the JS API (also known as OMID) that enables the communication between the app and third-party measurement vendors’ tags, i.e. by tracking and recording in-app ad events via API.

A range of supported events for the video ad lifecycle, for instance, includes changes in video player state, volume changes, user interactions, ad starts, and, certainly, and ad views (quartile-based/complete views). 

The onboarding process itself is rather comprehensive, even though it may require some time and development efforts from the side of an app publisher.

In brief, the implementation flow includes the following steps:

  1. Sign up at using your company’s email to get your namespace.
  2. Generate a build for your Android and/or iOS app under your registered namespace. 
  3. Download the relevant Android/iOS native library & JS API and proceed to the OM SDK integration into your app.
  4. Add the so-called Verification Validation script to in-app ad creatives and run basic OMID integration tests using the common test cases.
  5. Fix bugs, if any, and proceed to the integration validation, i.e. certification by IAB Tech Lab (for more information on how to submit an app for integration validation, please refer to IAB Tech Lab’s Compliance guidelines).

Check out the detailed overview of the onboarding process here.

Current State & Future Perspectives of OM SDK Adoption

According to the DV’s 2020 Global Insights Report, the overall number of OM SDK-enabled mobile apps has exceeded 75 000 in Q3 2020, which is 30 000+ higher, than in Q2 2020. 

More importantly, the year-over-year increase of OMID video ad impressions (Q3 2020 vs. Q3 2019) has outreached the stunning 400%, which demonstrated the elevated industry efforts for the global OM SDK adoption in the past year. 

As for the future enhancements, the IAB Tech Lab’s working group is expected to introduce the new OMID specification for Video on the Web closer to the end of 2020, as a part of the continuous efforts to deprecate VPAID.

In the CTV context, the OM SDK versions for Android TV and Apple tvOS are currently in development, too.