Viewability rates fall

19 November 2014

NEW YORK: More than three quarters of video ads were played to completion during the third quarter, according to latest figures, but only one in five was actually in view to the user.

The Q3 2014 Media Quality Report from Integral Ad Science, a provider of digital advertising intelligence, assessed the online ad industry on four metrics – TRue Advertising Quality (TRAQ), brand risk, viewability and ad fraud – and included benchmarks for video for the first time.

The fact that overall video completion rates were much higher than viewable video completion rates was, said Integral, "indicative of significant frequency of autoplay and of disruptive user behavior, such as scrolling videos out of view as they are playing".

Overall, 30% of video impressions were deemed viewable, as measured by the standards laid down by the Media Ratings council, i.e. in view for two continuous seconds.

This was lower than that achieved by display which recorded viewability figures of 53.4% for Publishers and 36.7% for Networks & Exchanges.

The latter figure, MediaPost noted, marked a new low in 2014, as display viewability rates – with 50% of the ad being in view for at least one second – had been running at 51.3% in the first quarter, falling to 45.3% in the second.

And, if one extended the standard to a more realistic figure of five seconds, only 21.6% of display ads could still be described as viewable; at 15 seconds that fell to 12.5%. Again, both these figures were down on the preceding quarter.

Fraud in video was also higher than display with an average of 15% versus 3% for Publishers and 13.7% for Networks & Exchanges.

Integral's TRAQ score, based on a combination of factors, including viewability, fraud, clutter, brand safety and professionalism, stood at 561 for video. This meant, Integral said, that overall media quality for video was lower than for display inventory, which registered TRAQ scores of 675 for Publishers and 540 for Networks & Exchanges.

And, putting these figures in context, MediaPost observed a "downward spiral" over the course of the past 12 months, with the score for Networks & Exchanges having dropped from 597 in Q4 2013 to 578 in Q1 2014 and 576 in Q2 2014.

Data sourced from Integral Ad Science, Market Wired, MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff