Desktop Display Ad Viewability Rates Continue to Improve

April 11, 2019

Overall desktop display ad viewability rates have improved in the US with programmatic display once again seeing another increase in the second half of 2018, according to Integral Ad Science’s (IAS) media quality report [download page]. The overall desktop display ad viewability rate across buy types was 62.4% in H2, representing a 4.1% increase from H1 2018‘s average.

Although publisher direct inventory (64.7%) has consistently demonstrated higher desktop display ad viewability rates than programmatic buys (61.6%), programmatic is gaining ground with a 5.1% gain from H1 2018 (58.6%).

Desktop video viewability, while still higher on average than display ad viewability, experienced a  decline from the previous 6-month period, as the 65.5% rate dropped from 68.4%.

On the mobile front, the mobile web display ad viewability rate (58.3%) and mobile app display rate (61.6%) each experienced an increase from H1 2018 (54.8% and 57.2% respectively). Mobile web video viewability rates, on the other hand, have declined nearly 11% from 65.2% in H1 2018 to 58.9% in H2.

The overall desktop display ad average time-in-view saw a slight increase in H2 2018, from 10.58 seconds in H1 2018 to 10.76 seconds. Desktop video time-in-view, on the other hand, experienced a decrease from 14.42 seconds in H1 2018 to 13.69 seconds for H2 2018.

In comparison, the mobile web display time-in-view was quite a bit less than desktop at 7.52 seconds while mobile web video time-in-view (13.17 seconds) is gaining on desktop video.

The IAS report also covers brand risk, defined as “impressions that are flagged on pages that pose various levels of harm to brand image and/or reputation through association. Brand risk is based on seven core content categories: adult, alcohol, hate speech, illegal downloads, illegal drugs, offensive language and controversial news, and violence.”  The brand risk rate dropped across desktop platforms, with desktop display brand risk falling from 11.4% in H1 2018 to 7.3% in H2 2018. The decrease in brand risk wasn’t quite as dramatic for desktop video, dipping from 10.6% in H1 to 9.1% in H2.

However, while these percentages might look small on the surface (and the downwards trend is welcomed), advertisers still have a degree of angst around brand safety in general. Previous research has noted, for example, that 50% of advertising decision makers are putting pressure on partners to screen for brand safety, while 45% say they are moving spend to well-regarded premium publishers.

To read more, download the report here.

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