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Video ad viewability seems to be flat from last year, according to our review of Google’s latest foray into the topic. Some 66% of video ads were viewable on the web and in apps (excluding YouTube) across devices in May 2017, a figure that’s unchanged from last year’s analysis, which covered April 2016.

The study is based on Google and DoubleClick advertising platform data, and uses the Media Ratings Council definition of viewability (a minimum of 50% of the ad is in view for a minimum of 2 continuous seconds).

Viewable rate is the second-most common US digital video advertising objective behind view-through rate, with 87% of those choosing to use the MRC standard for viewability, per a recent study from Videology. Separate data from Extreme Reach suggests that 61% of digital video impressions met the MRC standard for viewability in Q2.

The Google report shows that mobile video ads continue to enjoy higher viewability rates than desktop (63%) video ads, with tablets (77%) leading mobile (72%). These figures exclude ads on YouTube, which are highlighted separately.

Viewability, by Country

Video viewability rates (excluding YouTube) continue to differ markedly across countries and regions:

  • Within North America, Canada’s rate (67%) remains ahead of the US’ (65%), though the gap narrowed;
  • In Latin America, Colombia climbed to the highest rate (80%), with Argentina (62%) lagging;
  • Within Europe, Middle East & Africa, both Saudi Arabia enjoyed the highest rate (82%), with France and South Africa languishing at 59%; and
  • In the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines led with an 80% viewability rate, while Hong Kong (57%) brought up the rear.

Viewability rates increased markedly in some countries, including Italy and Hong Kong. However, the opposite was true for some countries, such as Russia, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, where viewability rates declined substantially.

YouTube Viewability Far Higher

Meanwhile, Google also points to far higher video ad viewability on YouTube than across the rest of the web and in other apps. Some 95% of video ads on YouTube across desktop, mobile and tablet were viewable in April, up from 93% last year and 91% the year before. YouTube ad viewability was consistently high across mobile (96%) and tablets (95%), with desktops slightly behind (90%).

YouTube video ads had stronger viewability rates than the rest of the web and apps across all the countries measured, with viewability improved and exceeding 90% in each country.

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