These Ad Units Proved to be Most Viewable in H2 2017

April 2, 2018

The average viewability rate for desktop display ads in the US was 54.7% during the second half of 2017, on par with the first half of the year, reports Integral Ad Science (IAS). The Media Quality Report H2 2017 [download page] indicates that viewability remains higher for publisher direct buys (62.2%) than for programmatic buys (52.9%).

These figures are based on the MRC standard: an impression is considered viewable if at least half of the pixels are on the screen for at least one second after the ad has rendered.

As expected, viewability rates are lower for longer times-in-view: just 38.2% of desktop display impressions were in-view for at least 5 seconds, and 22.5% for at least 15 seconds.

Certain ad unit sizes performed better than others, and IAS notes that those with vertical orientation tend to have higher viewability than others, as the ad remains on the screen as the user scrolls down the page.

As such, Skyscraper (160×600) ads were most likely to be in-view for at least one second (63.2%), followed closely by Half Page (300×600) ads (62.7%).

The other ad types were closely bunched in terms of viewability:

  • Billboard (970×250): 50.3%;
  • Leaderboard (728×90): 50%; and
  • Medium Rectangle (300×250): 48.4%.

The last of those – Medium Rectangle units – had slightly higher viewability rates than Billboard and Leaderboard ads when measured by time-in-view of at least 5 seconds and at least 15 seconds.

The report also profiles viewability rates across other channels:

  • US desktop video: 66.3%, higher for publisher direct (76.9%) than for programmatic (59.5%) buys;
  • Global desktop display: 55.8%, higher for publisher direct (61.3%) than for programmatic (54.9%) buys;
  • Global desktop video: 67.9%, higher for publisher direct (75.1%) than for programmatic (59.8%) buys;
  • Global mobile web display: 49.0%, higher for publisher direct (53.7%) than for programmatic (48.0%) buys;
  • Global mobile web video: 70.3%, higher for publisher direct (77.9%) than for programmatic (51.0%) buys; and
  • Global in-app display: 57.6%, slightly higher for publisher direct (58.2%) than for programmatic (57.2%) buys.

These figures indicate that desktop viewability rates are similar in the US as they are globally. They also suggest that viewability is higher on desktops than mobiles for display, but that mobile leads the way in video viewability rates. (A video ad impression is considered viewable if the ad is playing while at least half of the pixels are on the screen for at least 2 seconds.)

The full report can be downloaded here.

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