2012 Ad Viewability Benchmarks, by Site Type

June 17, 2013

PointRoll-Ad-Viewability-Benchmarks-by-Site-Type-in-2012-June2013In light of recent data from comScore suggesting that a majority of display ads go unseen (at least per the 3MS standard for 50% of pixels in-view for at least a second), it’s worth taking a look at viewability benchmarks according to PointRoll’s latest benchmark report [pdf]. Covering 2012 activity, the data shows that viewability rates were lowest on shopping and auction (34.3%) and ad network (36.7%) sites, and highest on employment (68.5%), news (67%) and music and streaming media (66.1%) sites.

The study also reveals that click-through rates tend to increase alongside viewability, a result that seems logical on the surface, as it’s fairly difficult to click on an unseen ad. Campaigns with viewability rates in the 80-10o% range had an average CTR double that of campaigns with a 0-20% viewability rate (0.16% vs. 0.08%).

The study contains a host of other statistics about rich media and standard display ads in 2012 (some covered here). Below is a list containing some of the key findings from the report:

  • Pre-expandable (6.8%) rich media ads sported far higher interaction rates than expandable (3.8%) and floating (2.2%) ads;
  • Expandable (16.1 seconds) boasted much higher average brand interaction times than pre-expandable (8.4s) and floating (4.6s) ads, though;
  • Panel CTR was higher than banner CTR for each ad type;
  • Total click-through rate was highest for floating (1.66%) ads, with pre-expandable ads (0.63%) next;
  • Video completion rates (100%) were highest for polite ads (46.3%), with expandable (24.4%), pre-expandable (19.8%) and floating (13.5%) trailing;
  • Rich media interaction rates were highest for the restaurants and food service (6.45%) and professional services (6.25%) verticals, and lowest for non-profits (0.92%) and finance (1.19%) companies;
  • Average brand interaction time was highest for the finance vertical (22.1s) and lowest for the internet vertical (6.5s);
  • Apparel manufacturers and home improvement, furnishings, and durable goods advertisers enjoyed the highest total CTR (0.41%), while government (0.05%) and insurance (0.08%) suffered from the lowest click rates;
  • Finance (67.6%) had the highest in-banner video completion rate, while the pharmaceutical vertical (5%) had the lowest 100% completion rate;
  • Sorted by feature, interaction rates were highest for instant email (7.5%) and survey (5.2%) and lowest for HD video (0.4%);
  • Instant email (0.11%) had one of the lowest click-through rates among the features identified, while HD video (0.44%) had the highest;
  • Ads on B2B sites sported the highest interaction rates (8.8%), while those on shopping and auction sites had the lowest (1%);
  • Average brand interaction time was highest for ads on music and streaming media sites (24.6s) and lowest for those on automotive sites (4.9s);
  • Rich media ads on community (0.41%) and kids and family (0.4%) sites had the highest total CTR, while those on shopping and auction sites had the lowest (0.04%);
  • Shopping and auction sites weren’t all terrible, supporting the highest video completion rate (42.6%), with women’s interest sites taking their turn at the bottom (11.9%) for this metric;
  • Looking at standard display ads, toys and games manufacturers achieved the best CTR (0.52%) and a grouping of 4 industries (insurance, telecom, pharmaceutical, and consumer electronics manufacturers) shared the worst performance, at 0.05%;
  • Standard display ads on kids and family sites had easily the highest click rate (0.4%), with games sites (0.21%) next, and shopping and auction (surprise!) sites the worst (0.06%);
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