NEW YORK: Digital publishing faces no shortage of challenges in the year ahead but a survey of interactive media and advertising executives has put viewability far ahead of all the others.

An online poll carried out by The 614 Group, a digital consultancy, and AdMonsters, a professional community and conference series, garnered more than 300 responses and found that 63% thought that viewability was digital publishing's biggest challenge in the coming year.

Further, almost seven in ten stated they did not believe that a majority of digital publishers would achieve high viewability delivery by the end of 2015.

Much has been written about ad fraud during the past year but just 26% of respondents saw it as a chief concern for the year ahead. They were relaxed about the direction this issue would take: 58% predicted a drop in ad fraud, while 42% did not.

The survey also found widespread enthusiasm for programmatic buying and for native advertising. But while four fifths of respondents thought programmatic had helped drive the broader interactive marketplace during the past year, a similar proportion felt more work needed to be done "to realise the promise of industry advances" it has created.

When asked if the focus on native advertising "has demonstrated that standard ad units as they currently exist will not support our whole industry", almost nine in ten respondents agreed, either strongly (35%) or somewhat (52%). And a follow up question suggested that most felt native ads would become either "very pervasive" (30%) or "somewhat" pervasive (60%).

"Some of the polling results were expected, but it's always important to see the experts confirming some of our own impressions of marketplace trends," said Rob Rasko, CEO and founder of The 614 Group.

"The biggest surprise was the level of agreement around the idea that publishers would not be 'majority viewable,' in 2015," he added. "There are no reputable publishers who wish to sell ads that aren't seen."

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff