Ad Viewability Increases Across Formats in H2 2019

April 17, 2020

IAS US Ad Viewability Benchmarks in H2 2019 Apr2020Mobile app display viewability rates improved globally in the second half of 2019 with an average viewability rate of 68.7%, an increase of 21.9% year-over-year (y-o-y). This is according to the most recent Integral Ad Science (IAS) media quality report [download page], which also finds that the overall mobile app display viewability rate in the US also rose to 75.2% in H2 2019, a 22.1% increase from one year earlier.

Below is a rundown of how each ad format fared in H2 2019, not only in viewability but also for time-in-view and brand risk.


Ad viewability grew across the board both globally and in the US. Desktop display grew to 71% globally (up from 65.4% in H2 2018). In the US, it reached 69.9%, a 12% y-o-y rise. Viewability for desktop video did not increase quite as much, reaching 74.1% globally (up from 68.6%) and 69.3% in the US (up from 65.5%).

While the largest growth in viewability was seen in mobile app display, other mobile formats also saw improvements. Mobile web display viewability increased by 12.4% y-o-y to reach an average of 63.3% globally. In the US it increased from 58.3% in H2 2018 to 64.7% in H2 2019. Mobile web video in the US and globally saw a modest increase, hitting 71.6% worldwide and 65% in the US.


Time-in-view, as defined by IAS, “is the average duration that a viewable impression remained in view.” The report notes that only impressions viewable according to the Media Rating Council standard were included in their calculation. And, as noted in their H1 2019 report, due to a change in how time-in-view is calculated, y-o-y comparisons are not available.

That said, in the US the average time-in-view for desktop display was 21.09 seconds, while mobile in-app display averaged 23.24 seconds. The US average time-in-view for mobile web display, however, was considerably lower at 16.32 seconds in H2 2019.

Brand Risk

There is good news when it comes to brand risk, which is defined as “impressions on pages that are flagged for posing various levels of harm to brand image and/or reputation through association, based on seven core content category: adult, alcohol, hate speech, illegal downloads, illegal drugs, offensive language and controversial content, and violence.”

Desktop display risk decreased (improved) by more than 15% worldwide between H2 2018 (5.2%) and H2 2019 (4.4%) and by about 11% y-o-y in the US, to 6.5%. Desktop video risk stood at an average of 6.3% worldwide (down from 7%) and 8.9% in the US (down from 9.1%).

On the mobile front, mobile web display risk dropped by 11.2% y-o-y in the US to 7.9%, and by close to 6% y-o-y, to 7.8%, for mobile web video. This comes at a time when about 6 in 10 (57%) of marketing executives report being very confident in their ability to measure brand safety for mobile.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: The findings are based on analysis of hundreds of billions of ad impressions globally during the second half of 2019.

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