Half of Directly Placed Display Ads In View For At Least 1 Second in H1

August 29, 2012

adsafe-visibility-of-display-ads-in-h1-aug-2012.png49.9% of directly placed ads stayed in-view for at least 1 second in H2, according to an August 2012 study from AdSafe Media. Viewability for directly placed ads was better than for networks (41.2%) and platforms/exchanges (40.3%). Longer engagement with viewers was much harder to come by: just 21.1% of directly placed ads remained in-view for 15 seconds, dropping to 16.4% for networks and 16.3% for exchanges.

In its previous semi-annual report, AdSafe found that more than 38% of display ads were either not in-view at all to their intended user or in-view for less than half a second, the standard time accepted for an ad view. The latest study notes that earlier reports measured viewability data against a requirement of 75% of the creative to be in-view to the user, while the August report adopts 3MS guidelines, with the standard for a viewable impression being 50% of the ad creative in-view.

Vertically-Oriented Ads More Visible

Details from AdSafe’s most recent “Semiannual Review” indicate that viewability is better for vertically oriented (160×600 – Skyscraper) ads, with an average of 53.1% in-view for at least 1 second, highest for the direct channel (68.1%) and lowest for the exchange channel (51.9%). There is a significant drop-of in overall viewability rates to the other formats measured: 38.4% for 300×250 ads, and 36.1% for 720×90 ads.

Examining the data by browser, the report finds that there is very little variance in the percentage of ads in-view for 1 second across Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. In terms of the percentage of ads visible for 15 seconds, Internet Explorer takes the lead at 18.6%, with Chrome bringing up the rear at 15.2%.

Religious Sites Still Get Most Visibility

As in the previous report, religion and spirituality sites demonstrated the highest level of engagement, with an average in-view time of more than 5 seconds, closely followed by home and garden sites. Overall, there was little difference in visibility between content and utility sites, both at around an average of 2 seconds. Travel, careers and health performed best among utility sites, while autos had the lowest visibility. For content sites, news led the pack, with finance by far the worst, at less than 1 second average visibility.

Risky Content – Mostly Moderate – Rises in Q2

For publishers, the overall proportion of risky content (impressions that represent a low degree of brand safety) increased 8% quarter-over-quarter in Q4 to represent 5.3% of all impressions, with the majority of those deemed moderate risk (3.1% of total impressions). The proportion of risky content remained steady at 5.8% for exchanges, though in Q2 the proportion of impressions deemed very high risk dropped from 3.4% to 2.5%.

For networks, the percentage of impressions deemed risky rose from 6.3% to 7.3%, though much of that rise was attributable to an increase in moderate risk impressions, as very high risk impressions fell.

Illegal Downloads, Adult Content Become More Prevalent

Illegal downloads (33.9% of high-risk impressions for publishers) and adult content (33.6% for publishers) accounted for roughly 45-65% of high-risk content across the channels in Q1 and Q2, a dramatic rise from late 2011. Offensive language, which was the main offender back then (see link above) became less prominent.

Alcohol impressions rose quarter-over-quarter in each channel, to 27.2% of high-risk impressions for publishers, 15.3% for exchanges, and 20.4% for networks.

Other Findings:

  • The UK received the largest amount of the US’ non-geo-targeted content, at 26.3% in Q2, up from 20.5% in Q1. Canada, which had received a leading 50% of such impressions in Q1, dropped to 13% in Q2.
  • Australia saw its share of non-geo-targeted content jump from 1.8% in Q4 2011 to 12% in Q1 and 10.3% in Q2 2012.

About the Data: To obtain its results, AdSafe analyzed over 1 billion impressions per day that came through its systems.


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