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Maybe it’s where the content is being consumed. Perhaps it’s not a question of attention, but the type of content being consumed that differs by device. Either way, people seem to have shorter attention spans on mobile than on desktop, judging by figures released by Integral Ad Science in its US Media Quality Report H1 2018 [download page].

The report, which analyzes hundreds of billions of ad impressions, includes time-in-view benchmarks for the first time, which reveal “how long, on average, an impression remained in view for a given device type, ad format, and buy type.” It’s worth noting that the time-in-view benchmarks are only available for impressions that meet viewability standards. That makes it possible that people don’t necessarily have shorter attention spans on mobile, were mobile viewability rates to be higher than desktop ones.

But as it turns out, viewability is higher on desktop than on display. So let’s take a look at the time-in-view benchmarks.

Time-in-View Higher on Desktop Than Mobile

The average time that a viewable display ad was in view on desktop in H1 was 10.58 seconds, a significantly higher average than for mobile web display (7.43 seconds).

The discrepancy was true across buy types:

  • Programmatic display: 10.55 seconds on desktop; 7.36 on mobile;
  • Publisher direct: 10.86 seconds on desktop ; 7.82 on mobile.

The gap was much narrower for video ad impressions, though, with time-in-view averaging 14.42 seconds on desktop and 13.89 seconds on mobile.

Desktop edged ahead of mobile for both programmatic and publisher direct video buys.

The data shows that time-in-view was higher for publisher direct than programmatic buys for both desktop and mobile and for both display and video. The analysts suggest that this is due to publisher direct inventory being more likely to include premium content environments.

Time-in-View Higher for Video Than Display

The benchmarks also indicate that time-in-view is higher across both devices for video than for display.

Specifically, the overall average time-in-view across buy types was 36% higher on desktop for video than display, and 87% higher on mobile for video than display.

The full study is available for download here.

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