Video Ad Viewability Highest on Connected TV, Mobile Apps

May 14, 2021

IntegralAds Global Video Ad Viewability by Platform May2021When it comes to global video ad viewability, connected TV (CTV) is a top performer. Indeed, a report [download page] from Integral Ad Science (IAS) shows that in the second half of 2020, CTV ad viewability reached 93.3%.

Featured for the first time in the media quality report, CTV outperforms other platforms in ad viewability, but is closely followed by mobile app video (92.6%), which is also new to the report. These results are compared to mobile web video (73.7%) and desktop video (73.6%), both of which did not perform as well in this metric.

Here is a look at how each metric fared in H2 2020.


Desktop video viewability in the US decreased from 69.3% in H2 2019 to 66.9% in H2 2020. Viewability also decreased for desktop display globally (H2 2020: 68.8% vs. H2 2019: 71%), but in the US it remained virtually the same (69.8% vs. 69.9%).

Viewability on mobile, for the most part, rose. In the US mobile web video ad viewability reached 71.3% (up from 65% in H2 2019), while globally the 73.7% in H2 2020 is up from 71.6% during the second half of 2019. Global mobile app display viewability grew to 72.1%, while in the US it increased from 75.2% in H2 2019 to 82.3% in H2 2020.

The only mobile platform that saw viewability decrease was mobile web display, which stood at 62.9% in H2 2020 (down from 63.3% in H2 2019), globally. In the US viewability on this platform was 63.1% (down from 64.7%).

Time in View

Time-in-view, as defined by IAS, “is the average duration that a viewable impression remained in view.” The report notes that only impressions viewable according to the Media Rating Council standard were included in their calculation.

With that in mind, in the US the average time-in-view for desktop display was 21.23 seconds (up slightly from 21.09 seconds in H2 2019), while mobile in-app display averaged 19.26 seconds (down from 23.24 seconds). The average time-in-view for mobile web display also declined, but to a lesser degree, from 16.32 seconds in H2 2019 to 16.25 seconds in H2 2020.

Brand Risk

At a time when brand safety has become a bigger priority, brand risk – defined as “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” – has increased across nearly all platforms.

Globally, desktop display risk remained steady at 4.4%, and decreased (improved) in the US between H2 2019 (6.5%) and H2 2020 (5.8%). However, desktop video risk increased to an average of 7.7% worldwide (up from 6.3%) and 11.8% in the US (up from 8.9%).

Mobile web video risk grew by almost 12% y-o-y worldwide to 8.6% and by about 13% y-o-y in the US to 14.5%. US mobile web display also saw brand risk increase between H2 2019 (7.9%) and H2 2020 (8.2%).

The full report can be downloaded here.


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