Digital Display Ad Benchmarks in H1 2016, by Vertical and Region

November 28, 2016

sizmek-display-ad-benchmarks-by-region-in-h1-nov2016Want to know how your display ads measure up? Sizmek has plenty of answers for you, based on an analysis of hundreds of billions of impressions served via its platform during the first half of this year. Globally, the report [download page] indicates that the average click-through rate (CTR) for a standard banner ad was 0.16%, though there were considerable differences across regions.

Benchmarks by Region

Average CTRs for standard banner ads were highest in Latin America (0.25%) and lowest in Australia/New Zealand (0.08%). (Enlarge the above chart for the full results.) The North American average of 0.14% was slightly below the global average, but seems to up from a few years ago (it was 0.08% in 2013).

Rich media ads continued a long-standing result of having higher click-through rates. Globally, they averaged 0.27%, with several regions boasting CTRs of 0.34-0.36%. The ANZ region was again the lowest at 0.08%, though Latin America (0.17%) this time was also below-average.

The report’s authors remind that rich media’s main goal often goes beyond click-throughs, such that it’s important to also look at overall unique interaction rates. These averaged 1.19% globally for rich media, with Europe (1.48%) and South Asia (1.47%) leading the way and ANZ (0.52%) once again trailing.

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    Benchmarks by Vertical


    Analysis of the global display ad benchmarks also shows significant disparities by industry:

    • Standard banner CTRs were highest for the apparel (0.24%), telecom (0.21%) and retail (0.2%) verticals and lowest for the sports (0.07%), corporate (0.08%) and careers (0.1%) sectors;
    • – Corporate (0.53%) did much better in leading rich media CTRs, followed by telecom (0.52%), with medical (0.12%) and gaming (0.13%) bringing up the rear; while
    • Rich media interaction rates were highest for retail (9.11%) and restaurants (6.85%), well above the rates for the laggards, medical (0.7%) and travel (0.81%).

    Rich media CTRs outperformed standard banner CTRs in 19 of the 21 sectors analyzed, with standard banners holding a slight edge only in the gaming and medical verticals.

    In-Stream Video, by Region


    Looking first at non-interactive in-stream video, the report reveals that CTRs averaged 1.5% on a global basis, ranging from a high of 5.82% in the Middle East & Africa to a low of 0.42% in North America. Video start rates were more consistent, ranging from 85% in South Asia to almost 98% in North America. The fully played rate averaged 72.9% globally, registering a low of 50.2% in South Asia and a high of 81.2% in ANZ.

    Interestingly, the fully played rate was highest in the regions with the lowest CTRs, while those with relatively high CTRs had low rates of videos being played to completion. This suggests that in those regions, such as South Asia, East Asia, and Middle East & Africa, users are more comfortable interrupting the video to go to the advertisers’ website.

    Turning to interactive in-stream video, the global average interaction rate was 4.69%, buoyed by double-digit rates in Latin America and the Middle East & Africa, but dragged down by a very low rate (0.28%) in South Asia and a below-average rate in North America (3.87%).

    Overall, almost 4% of interactive in-stream video impressions globally had some form of interaction during the first half of the year.

    Rich Media With Video vs. In-Stream Video

    The report outlines start rates and fully played rates for HTML5 rich media, comparing those with in-stream video rates. The comparison is worth making, per the report, because in-stream CPMs are frequently higher than rich media CPMs.

    Overall, in-stream start rates on a global basis were 3 times higher than rich media with video start rates (92.5% and 30.8%, respectively), which the analysts attribute to videos within rich media units having to commonly be initiated by hand.

    The fully played rates were more comparable. Though rich media with video (63% globally) trailed in-stream video (72.9%), rich media with video sported a higher fully played rate in South Asia and Middle East & Africa, while also rivaling in-stream video in Latin America and East Asia.

    The biggest gaps in favor of in-stream video were in North America (80% vs. 66.1%) and Europe (74.7% vs. 62.5%). Generally speaking, though, the relatively narrow gap in completion rates suggests that “once the video in a rich media unit starts, audiences are very likely to watch it to completion – at least, almost to the same extent that they would watch an in-stream unit to completion after it has begun.”

    The full report can be downloaded here.

    About the Data: Sizmek Research analyzed 21 unique formats, more than 2,500 unique unit size combinations, over 1.3 million individual ads, and hundreds of billions of impressions served via the Sizmek platform during the first half of 2016.

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