Vistar Verify: DOOH Needs Quality Inventory Standards

Vistar Verify: DOOH Needs Quality Inventory Standards

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Vistar Media wants to help establish quality inventory standards for the DOOH market. To that end, it has launched Vistar Verify.

The program creates a shared definition of quality inventory in the Vistar marketplace using manual and automated checks. The objective is to ensure inventory is represented accurately and meets a collective set of standards established by Vistar in consultation with media owners, buyers, and platform partners.

Buyers using Vistar Verify can assess the quality of DOOH environments in which a screen is located and that of the audience present in the location. They can also determine the quality and effectiveness of the physical display itself and the on-screen experience. Vistar Verify can also provide data on the reliability and accuracy of data (“signals”) describing the inventory.

The automated inventory check of Vistar Verify runs a script against a list of OOH venues, checking the location (latitude/longitude) against the Google Places API to verify the accuracy of the venue type; for example, identifying a grocery store at or within 50 miles of the location of a venue listed in the “grocery store” category.

The Vistar Verify program has a verification process to benchmark all Vistar inventory against each criterion to ensure that all inventory in the marketplace meets the highest standards. Audited media owners also complete a detailed RFI covering all aspects of their DOOF environments, processes, data usage, and integrations.

In a statement, Wade Rifkin, EVP, and GM, Programmatic, at Clear Channel Outdoor, endorsed Vistar Media’s new offerings. “Vistar’s ‘Verify’ solution is illuminating for brands, helping them demarcate and focus investment within premium and impactful contexts for their campaigns,” Rifkin said. “We’re excited to see powerful audience targeting and DSP decisioning marry up even more with high-quality programmatic DOOH environments like our roadside and airports inventory through the use of Vistar Verify.”

Vistar Media is a global provider of programmatic technology for digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising. Eric Lamb, SVP of Supply at Vistar Media, talked more in-depth about Vistar Verify.

Which organization sets or enforces inventory standards?
There are a few trade organizations that establish standards and best practices for out-of-home in the U.S. For example, the IAB recently released an update to their OpenRTB spec to include details for digital out-of-home, and groups such as the OAAA set agreed-upon standards. These groups have not previously set guidelines or standards around the concept of inventory quality across the broad range of considerations that are relevant for programmatic buyers.

Why should brands, agencies, and publishers adhere to those set by Vistar?
In the past, the number of networks available programmatically was quite small – limited by the resources to invest in building and growing a large-scale network and to have a team to sell that inventory. Today, thanks to the availability of cheaper hardware, streamlined software systems, and other advancements, there is a lower barrier to entry, meaning there are many more media owner networks entering the marketplace. With this large volume of networks, there is an increased need to understand who they are and to make it easier for buyers to understand the inventory without a huge burden to learn about every individual provider. Vistar Verify provides a trusted and transparent framework to enhance buyers’ trust in the programmatic OOH marketplace.

Buyers are not required to “adhere” to anything. They will be able to understand which inventory has or has not been verified and can make selection decisions based on that. Vistar has 11 years of deep experience working with buyers and that is what has informed this program. From our experience working with thousands of buyers, we know the questions that they typically ask to better understand the inventory they are purchasing. This framework works to proactively answer those questions.

What was Vistar using or doing before it established Vistar Verify to monitor quality inventory?
Vistar has always required that media owners meet a level of quality in order to be integrated onto the Vistar marketplace (for example, having impression data measured by a third-party source in order to qualify for applying an impression multiplier). But now, the Vistar Verify program provides more clarity about those parameters and offers a structured way of evaluating what had previously been more subjective factors.

Can Vistar Verify be applied to non-Vistar platforms?
While Vistar Verify as a program is specifically limited to inventory available within the Vistar marketplace, the quality standards and the associated rubric are frameworks that can be applied to any out-of-home inventory. Additionally, as media owners participate in the Vistar Verify program and potentially identify areas for improvement, we expect that these improvements will be applied to how inventory is structured and transacted through any platform.

Which clients are participating in Vistar Verify?
Verified media owners as of May 31st include Captivate, Clear Channel Outdoor, GroceryTV, GSTV, Intersection, Lamar, Lightbox, Octopus (part of T-Mobile Advertising Solutions), OUTFRONT, Starlite, TVM, Volta, and Zoom Media.

Kathleen Sampey