Viewability continues to be a key concern for media buyers when planning digital campaigns. So what percentage of display impressions in the US actually are in view for at least 1 second? Integral Ad Science (IAS) dug into the data [download page] from its platform to reveal viewability benchmarks for various ad units.
Overall, vertically-oriented ads tended to produce better results during the second half of 2016 in terms of viewability than horizontal and/or smaller ads. Half Page (300×600) ads recorded the highest viewability rate, of 60.6%, closely followed by Skyscrapers (160×600), with a 59.9% viewability rate. Other popular ad formats – Billboard (54.1%) and Leaderboard (52.6%) registered a majority in view by the MRC standard, though how impressive that result is remains in the eye of the beholder…
It remains quite difficult to catch the eye of a viewer (bot?) for at least 5 seconds, though some units had relatively high rates. Once again, the Half Page (42.2%) and Skyscraper (42.1%) units performed best, with their ≥5s viewability rates rivaling the ≥1s viewaiblity rate for Medium Rectangle (300×250) units (45.7%).
Overall, some 53% of US display ad impressions were viewable during H2 2016, with impressions bought directly from publishers (60%) achieving higher rates than those bought programatically (49.6%). The report separately shows that brand safety risk is twice as high for display impressions bought programmatically than for those bought direct from publishers.
Turning its attention to video ads, the IAS report shows that only about one-third (35.1%) of video ads were both in view per the MRC standard and played to completion. Interestingly, the completion rate in-view did not drop off too much from the first quarter (44.5%) to the full completion.
Once again, video ads had more success when bought directly with publishers than when they were bought programmatically: while a majority (53.1%) of those bought direct were in-view and viewed to completion, fewer than one-third (29.9%) of those bought programmatically reached that threshold.
About the Data: The IAS display ad data is based on a sample of 200 billion impressions in the US, while the video ad data is based on a sample of 6 billion impressions globally across direct and programmatic channels.
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