Video Ad Viewability Improves in Some Formats

November 5, 2021
IntegralAds Global Video Ad Viewability by Platform Nov2021

In terms of global video ad viewability, connected TV (CTV) continues to outperform other platforms. A report [download page] from Integral Ad Science (IAS) shows that in the first half of 2021, CTV ad viewability on a global scale stood at 93.2%.

Indeed, CTV ad viewability has remained consistently high in comparison to H2 2020, when it was at 93.3%. The same cannot be said for mobile app video, for which viewability was high at 92.6% in H2 2020, only to drop to 78% in the first half of 2021. However, mobile web video ad viewability saw some improvement (79%, up from 73.7% in H2 2020), as did desktop video (77%, up from 73.6%).

Here’s a look at how ads fared for each metric in H1 2021, compared to a year earlier.


Desktop video viewability in the US increased from 68.1% in H1 2020 to 68.2% in H1 2021. Viewability also increased for desktop display in the US (H1 2020: 70.9% vs. H1 2021: 71.6%), but globally it decreased (71.9% vs. 69.5%).

On the mobile front, viewability rose year-over-year (y-o-y) for all but one platform. In the US, mobile web video ad viewability reached 67.6% (up from 66.1%% in H1 2020), while globally the 79% in H1 2021 is up from 73.6% during the first half of 2020. Global mobile app display viewability grew to 73.2% (up from 70.8% in H1 2020), while in the US it increased from 78.9% in H1 2020 to 85.2% in H1 2021. 

The only mobile platform that saw viewability decrease was mobile web display, which stood at 64.3% in H1 2021 (down from 67.6% in H1 2020), globally. In the US, viewability on this platform was 66.8% (down from 67.6%)

Time in View

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

As such, the average time-in-view for desktop display in the US was 21.52 seconds (up from 21.02 seconds in H1 2020), while mobile app display averaged 17.84 seconds (down from 23.17 seconds). The average time-in-view for mobile web display also experienced a decline from 16.83 seconds in H1 2020 to 15.87 seconds in H1 2021.

Brand Risk

Research from The 614 Group and YouGov found that, for many US adults, brand safety impacts their purchase decisions. As defined by IAS, brand risk refers to “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 categories: adult, alcohol, hate speech, illegal downloads, illegal drugs, offensive language and controversial content, and violence”

Desktop display risk both globally and in the US has seen notable decreases (improvement). Globally, it dropped from 4.2% in H1 2020 to 2.4% in H1 2021, while in the US it decreased from 5.9% to 3.5% during the same period. Likewise, desktop video risk decreased to an average of 3.6% worldwide (down from 6.3%) and 5.5% in the US (down from 8%).

Similar decreases were seen with mobile. Mobile web video risk decreased by about 46% y-o-y worldwide to 3.6% and by 28% y-o-y in the US to 7.1%. US mobile web also decreased between H1 2020 (6.7%) and H1 2021 (4.3%).

The full report can be downloaded here.


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