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Desktop display viewability rates have improved in the US, particularly for programmatic display, according to Integral Ad Science’s US Media Quality Report H1 2018 [download page]. The overall desktop display ad viewability rate across buy types was 59.9% in H1, representing a 9.4% increase from 54.7% in H2 2017.

Publisher direct inventory (63.9%) continued to demonstrate higher desktop display ad viewability rates than programmatic buys (58.6%). However, the gap narrowed as the 58.6% viewability rate for programmatic buys marked an 11% increase from H2 2017 (52.9%), which Integral Ad Science attributes to industry efforts.

Meanwhile, viewability was again highest for Skyscraper (160×600) ads (66.6%), with Half Page (300×600) ads close behind at 65.5%.

Video ad viewability, for its part, was higher on average than display ad viewability. The 68.4% viewability rate for desktop video also represented an improvement from H2 2017 (66.3%), though it was a relatively minor gain.

The gap in viewability rates between publisher direct and programmatic was more acute for video than for display. Publisher direct inventory averaged a 72% viewability rate, compared to 62.7% for programmatic buys.

Mobile Ad Viewability Benchmarks

This edition of the report presents for the first time mobile ad viewability rates specific to the US.

The benchmarks suggest that mobile ads haven’t yet attained the same viewability levels as their desktop counterparts.

For the first half of the year, mobile web display ads had an average viewability rate of 54.8% (compared to 59.9% for desktop).

There wasn’t too much difference between publisher direct inventory (56.7%) and programmatic buys (54.3%) for mobile web display ads.

That gap was much larger for video, as was the case with desktop. The overall mobile web video ad viewability rate of 65.2% – slightly below desktop’s 68.4% – masked a substantial gap between publisher direct (69.7%) and programmatic (55.3%) inventory.

Finally, mobile app display ads bucked the trend in H1. The 58.4% viewability rate for programmatic buys exceeded the 55.8% for publisher direct inventory.

Overall, mobile app display ads had an average viewability rate of 57.3%, slightly higher than mobile web display ads.

The full report – which also contains global rates as well as fraud and brand risk benchmarks – can be downloaded here.

About the Data: The benchmarks are based on an analysis of hundreds of billions of impressions in the US during H1 2018.

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