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Why There's Still a Market for Online Ads No One Sees

Because they're cheap.
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Earlier this week the ad tech company AppNexus announced what it described as a major innovation: It would allow advertisers to pay only for those digital ads that are actually seen by people. To those uninitiated in the ways of programmatic advertising, this might seem like table stakes. Given all the talk about sophisticated tracking and targeting associated with digital ads, finding out which ones get viewed should be simple. But most industry studies estimate that only about half of digital ads are seen by real people. 

AppNexus is not the only company trying to change that. Last month Google said advertisers using the Google Display Network wouldnt be charged if their ads weren’t seen by people, and this week it began allowing third-party auditors to double-check Google’s own claims about the viewability of ads on YouTube. Facebook recently made a similar move. With the ad tech companies getting in line, it would seem the days of paying for digital ads no one sees are almost over.