Digital Trends: 50% of online ads are still non viewable

Ad View-ability in digital media

If you believed that your million dollars display campaign would generate massive brand recall and consideration, a European ad verification company Meetrics is ready to spoil your party.

According to the definition given by IAB on ad view-ability:

An ad is considered viewable if 50 per cent of it is in view for at least one second.

Meetrics Ad View-ability Study 2015
Meetrics Ad View-ability Study 2015

One of the key reasons identified above is the longevity of the ad, keeping that in mind, it won’t be long when ads (including banner ads) would be purchased on viewable time spent by the audience.

Online ad view-ability is a complex concept with several stakeholders ranging from brands and agencies to ad networks and measurement vendors.

Also ReadAd Viewability – a boon or bane for advertisers?

In 2012, in an exercise governed by MRC ( Media Ratings Council ) , a total of 17 advertisers and 12 agencies participated in pilot across 22 campaigns, representing more than 3 billion served impressions that ran in variety of different environments.

Data released by the MRC to pilot participants revealed the following key findings.

  1. View-ability rates – or, the percentage of impressions for which the viewable/non-viewable status was determined – varied widely by campaign; from a high of 78.6 percent to a low of 7.3 percent.
  2. The percentage of served impressions measured for view-ability ranged from a low of 0 percent to a high of 76.7 percent.
  3. Network placements in pilot programs generally had lower measured and viewable rates.

In another detailed and more recent study published jointly by Google & DoubleClick, there were some fascinating insights (including some from media planning and creative perspective) which opens this discussion further:

56.1% of all impressions we measured are not seen, but the average publisher view-ability is 50.2%. (Refer below graph)

Ad VIEWABILITY DISTRIBUTION ACROSS DOMAINS

Ad’s page position matters, as the most viewable position is right above the fold, not at the top of the page.

Average viewability by vertical position

The most viewable ads units are vertical units.

VIEWABILITY RATES BY AD SIZE

Page position isn’t always the best indicator of view-ability. Not all above-the-fold impressions are viewable, while many below-the-fold impressions are.

Page Position Ad View-Ability Distribution

While it ranges across content verticals, and industries, content that holds a user’s attention has the highest view-ability.

industry wise ad-viewability

Key Take Away

There is no doubt that with increasing spends in digital it is important to not overlook what just might be the most profound potential impact of a new view-ability metric: how it may change the experience for consumers.

View-ability data enables advertisers to identify both high- and low value inventory and then shift budgets and targets accordingly to maximise reach and ROI. By understanding trends about what inventory has the highest view-ability, advertisers can better formulate their media strategies.

Ad Viewability – a boon or bane for advertisers?

ad viewability

According to a recent comScore study, 54% of online display ads weren’t seen by anyone, owing to various factors including technical glitches, user habits, and even fraud. For advertisers, that’s a lot of money down the drain. And rightly so, I mean after all we are talking about hard marketing dollars. Some conventional media people might argue that 100% ad viewability is a myth, and honestly, they are not wrong but the advertiser also has a strong point when they ask for maximising the viewable impressions in any campaign.
Let’s open this discussion a bit further. 
Terms like ad viewability brings a set of common problems along with it, most common is what we call in digital as Measurability (or “obsessive measurability”). It is true that digital has given the power & tools to measure each & every nano second of any marketing campaign but at the expense of confusing & cluttering the environment around us. More detailed & in-depth the metric goes, more the number of definitions for the same metric that you would see. Each publisher would come up with their own “convenient” definition of same metric in their reporting.
For any advertiser, finding the correct industry benchmark is always a challenge. For instance, something which is as debatable as Video Completion rate would become a hurdle for agencies & publishers in driving stronger revenue volume / advertiser in the coming years.
Even if the overall mobile & display revenues are seeing a major upswing worldwide, It would be hard to imagine that advertiser would surrender their stand on the key reporting metrics when it comes to Mobile Display or Mobile Video. 
Most importantly, in order to make the client ecosystem more responsive towards new age advertising, agencies & vendors have to sit together along with the bodies like IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) & arrive at common marketing friendly reporting metrics without which it would extremely difficult to win the trust of the advertiser.

To understand this further, watch the below video by Integral Ad Science:

A few months back, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Media Rating Council issued the first viewability standards for online ads. A video ad is viewable if half its pixels appear on the viewer’s screen for two continuous seconds, the standard says.

While that standard seems awfully low, the IAB says that 100 percent viewability isn’t possible at this time. The best that ad buyers should hope for is 70 percent. Good news: Only 30 percent of your paid ads won’t be seen—for the time-being, anyway

The IAB has just released a position paper on viewability calling 2015 a year of transition. Full viewability isn’t currently feasible, the paper says, but we’re getting there. Problems such as different ad units, browsers, ad placements, vendors, and measurement systems prevent 100 percent viewability, but the industry can solve those issues by working together, it says.

You can read the complete article on IAB guidelines for ad viewability here