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Integral-Viewability-Display-Ads-H2-v-H1-Feb201356% of directly placed ads stayed in-view for at least 1 second in H2 2012, up from 49.9% in H1, according to [pdf] a February 2013 study from Integral Ad Science (formerly AdSafe Media). Viewability for directly placed ads was better than for networks (42.2%), exchanges (37.6%), and hybrids (41.1%). Longer engagement with viewers was much harder to come by: just 22.7% of directly placed ads remained in-view for 15 seconds, dropping to 17.2% for hybrids, 16.5% for networks, and 15.7% for exchanges.

Details from Integral’s “Semiannual Review” indicate that viewability is better for vertically oriented (160×600 ”“ Skyscraper) ads, with an average of 50.8% in-view for at least 1 second, though that was down slightly from H1. There is a significant drop-of in overall viewability rates to the other formats measured: 43% for 300×250 ads, and 39% for 720×90 ads. Contrary to the skyscraper format, though, viewability for both improved.

Directly placed ads not only had the highest engagement, they also were deemed to be lowest risk. While more than 1 in 5 impressions overall were suspicious of being fraudulent activity, only 5% of those placed directly exhibited suspicious activity. By contrast, exchanges were far riskier, with more than 30% of impressions deemed questionable.

Other Findings:

  • Careers sites boasted the highest level of engagement, with an average in-view time of close to 1.4 seconds. Religion sites were next, at around 0.8 seconds.
  • While sites that provided engaging content such as news, finance, and business saw higher engagement in terms of users’ time on page, ads on those pages were in view for relatively less time.
  • Ads on shopping sites were deemed the least risky in terms of suspicious activity, while style and food sites had the highest rates of suspicious activity.
  • For publishers, the overall proportion of high-risk inventory (impressions that represent a low degree of brand safety) stood at 2.1% in Q3, compared to 5.1% for networks. But in Q4, the proportion of high-risk inventory went up to 3.6% for publishers, and down to 3.2% for networks.
  • More than 20% of ads collided with another ad from the same campaign in H2.
  • Canada received the largest amount of the US’ non-geo-targeted content, jumping from 7.5% in Q3 to a 34.5% in Q4. The UK, normally the leader in non-compliant traffic, dropped to the 6th spot.

About the Data: To obtain its results, Integral analyzed billions of impressions per day that came through its systems.

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