Digital Display Ad Benchmarks, by Region, in 2013

Sizmek-Digital-Display-Ad-CTR-by-Region-in-2013-Apr2014Sizmek (formerly DG MediaMind) has released its latest report [download page] benchmarking performance metrics for several online ad types and formats across the world. The study finds that in North America, the average click-through rate (CTR) for standard banners slipped from 0.1% to 0.08%, while flash rich media CTRs jumped from 0.14% to 0.25%. There were considerable differences in ad performance across the various regions studied, although the trends were largely similar.

Standard banner CTRs were for the most part steady last year, despite some movement in a couple of regions. CTRs were slightly higher in North America than in Australia & New Zealand (0.06%) and East Asia (0.07%). Other regions cracked the 0.1% threshold, particularly Middle East and Africa, where CTRs almost doubled year-over-year from 0.11% to 0.19%.

Last year, display/banner ads comprised 19% of online ad revenues in the US.

In comparison with standard banners, rich media click-through rates showed a clear upward trend last year. Aside from North America’s 72% increase (to 0.25%), CTRs were up 59% in Europe (to 0.45%) while more than doubling in Australia and New Zealand (to 0.29%) and rising almost sixfold in East Asia (from 0.21% to 1.21%).

In its report, Sizmek admits that CTRs are a “legacy indicator of success metrics,” while also providing interaction and dwell rates for flash rich media. Interaction rates ranged from a low of 1.46% in North America to a high of 5.92% in Europe. The researchers pointed to “an increase in interaction rates, impressions with any interactions and dwell metrics for rich media with expansions over general rich media for all regions.” In other words, expandable elements can boost interaction and dwell rates by at least a few percentage points.

As for the more mobile-friendly HTML5, Sizmek finds that in the regions that met the threshold for inclusion in the report, HTML5 CTRs were higher than flash/static banner CTRs. That was particularly the case in Latin America where they were more than three times higher (0.38% vs. 0.12%), with the gap much narrower in North America (0.11% vs. 0.08%).

Turning to in-stream video, there was a wide range in CTR across regions, ranging from a low of 0.6% in North America (the only region below 1%) to a high of 5.9% in Middle East and Africa. While CTRs were highest in the Middle East and Africa region, that region had the lowest “fully played” completion rate.

The 2012 benchmarks can be accessed here.

About the Data: Sizmek Research analyzed more than 25 unique formats, more than 3,500 unique unit size combinations, 2 million individual ads and 913 billion impressions served via the Sizmek MDX Platform during 2013. The ads ran in 22 individual verticals, 47 countries and every inhabited continent in the world.