US Ad Viewability Rates Improved in the First Half of the Year

October 7, 2022

Globally, the first half of this year has shown steady results for video ad viewability across most devices, with one exception. The latest Media Quality report [download page] from Integral Ad Science (IAS) shows that CTV, desktop video, and mobile web video viewability rates were generally flat from the year-earlier period (H1 2021), while mobile app video ad viewability improved considerably (from 78.0% to 83.7%).

Display ad viewability improved across devices on a global level, rising from 69.5% to 71.5% for desktop display, from 64.3% to 66.9% for mobile web display, and from 73.2% to 76.9% for mobile app display.

Within the US, this metric was up across the board, with the biggest improvements seen for video formats:

  • Desktop display: 73.4%, up from 71.6%
  • Desktop video: 72.6%, up from 68.2%
  • Mobile web display: 70.1%, up from 66.8%
  • Mobile web video: 73.9%, up from 67.6%
  • Mobile app display: 87.7%, up from 85.2%.

These results should be encouraging to advertisers, whose top programmatic advertising priority this year is to increase viewability. Globally, viewability also ranks as a key metric for marketers.

However, aiming for 100% viewability may not be in advertisers’ best interests, according to the report. The analysts found that “while targeting higher viewability with pre-bid segments may lead to higher quality impressions, marketers can risk compromising scale.” In fact, the report demonstrates reductions in reach with each successively higher viewability target. Moreover, impressions that targeted a ≥70% viewability segment not only fared slightly worse than the ≥60% in conversion rate, but also had a higher cost-per-conversion. As such, the report finds that “targeting against the ≥60% viewability pre-bid segment appears to be the sweet spot to maximize conversions, maintain a competitive CPC, and minimize the impact on scale.”

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 are included in their calculation.

The average time-in-view for desktop display in the US was 21.35 seconds (up from 21.02 seconds in H1 2021), while mobile web display averaged 15.16 seconds (down from 15.87 seconds). The average time-in-view for mobile app display also experienced a slight dip, from 17.84 seconds in H1 2021 to 17.33 seconds in H1 2022.

Brand Risk

Brand risk, as defined by IAS, refers to “impressions on pages that are flagged for posing various levels of harm to brand image and/or reputation through association, based on eight core content categories: Adult, Alcohol, Gambling, Hate Speech, Illegal Downloads, Illegal Drugs, Offensive Language, and Violence.”

Desktop display risk both globally and in the US has improved. Globally, it fell from 2.4% in H1 2021 to 1.6% in H1 2022, while in the US it decreased from 3.5% to 3.2% during that period. Likewise, desktop video risk fell to an average of 1.5% worldwide (down from 3.6%), while plummeting from 5.5% to 1.7% in the US.

Some improvements were also enjoyed on mobile. Mobile web display risk decreased globally to 2.3% (from 2.6%), though in the US brand risk edged up from 4.3% to 4.4%. Mobile web video brand risk was cut by a third globally between H1 2021 (3.6%) and H1 2022 (2.4%), while showing a great deal of improvement in the US (from 7.1% in H1 2021 to 2.8% in H1 2022).

For more, download the report here.

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