Ad Viewability Increases Across Most Formats in H1 2020

October 30, 2020

IAS US Ad Viewability Benchmarks in H1 2020 Oct2020The first half of 2020 saw mobile app display viewability rates improve globally to an average viewability rate of 70.8%, an increase of 13.6% year-over-year (y-o-y). In the US, mobile app display viewability also increased, by 17.2% y-o-y, to reach 78.9%, per the most recent Integral Ad Science (IAS) media quality report [download page].

Here is a rundown of how each ad format fared in H1 2020 in viewability as well as in time-in-view and brand risk.


Ad viewability grew across the board globally, as did all but one format in the US. Desktop video viewability grew to 75.2% worldwide (up from 71.9% in H1 2019). However, in the US, viewability for desktop video decreased slightly from 68.5% in H1 2019 to 68.1% in the first half of 2020.

On the other hand, desktop display viewability, which improved from 69.2% to 71.9% globally, saw 6.5% y-o-y growth in the US in H1 2020 to reach 70.9% (up from 66.6%).

Mobile formats also saw significant improvements in viewability. On a global basis, mobile web display viewability increased by 11.9% y-o-y to reach an average of 67.6%, while in the US it increased from 62.2% to 67.6%. Mobile web video viewability continues to see more modest growth both in the US and globally, hitting 73.6% worldwide and 66.1% in the US.


IAS defines time-in-view as “the average duration that a viewable impression remains in view.” IAS also notes that only impressions viewable according to the Media Rating Council standard are included in their calculation.

With that in mind, desktop time-in-view decreased both globally and in the US. Worldwide, average time-in-view for desktop display for H1 2020 stood at 23.1 seconds (down from 23.5 seconds in H1 2019), while in the US it was 21.5 seconds (down from 22.0 seconds in H1 2019).

Mobile is a different story. Both globally and in the US, people have been spending more time on their mobile devices since COVID-19. Time-in-view on mobile web display increased to 15.7 seconds in H1 2020 (up from 15.6 seconds in the first half of 2019) worldwide and to 16.8 seconds (up from 16.2 seconds) in the US.

Mobile app display saw the biggest increases, rising globally from 20.2 seconds in H1 2019 to 24.2 seconds for the same period in 2020. In the US, time-in-view for mobile app display increased to 23.2 seconds from 20.4 seconds a year earlier.

Brand Risk

There is continued good news for companies when it comes to brand risk — that is, the “impressions on pages that are flagged for posing various levels of harm to brand image and/or reputation through association, based on seven core content category: adult, alcohol, hate speech, illegal downloads, illegal drugs, offensive language and controversial content, and violence.”

Desktop display risk decreased (improved) by close to 11% worldwide between H1 2019 (4.7%) and H1 2020 (4.2%) and about 6% y-o-y in the US, to 5.9%. Desktop video improved to an average of 6.3% worldwide (down from 6.9%) and 8% in the US (down from 8.3%).

Brand risk for mobile in the US has experienced the biggest improvements. Mobile web display risk decreased by 21.2% y-o-y in the US to 6.7%, and by 17.5% y-o-y, to 9.9%, for mobile web video.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: The findings are based on analysis of hundreds of billions of ad impressions globally during the first halves of 2019 and 2020.


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