SYDNEY: Video advertising viewability has, for the first time, overtaken display advertising in Australia, new figures show, but the industry is still a long way from solving the problem.

The IAS Media Quality Report presented year-end figures for 2016, which showed display viewability in Australia growing from 49.3% in the first half of the year to 51.9% in the second half.

Yet the key increase was in video viewability, which showed an increase of 18.2% in a six-month period, B&T reported. Furthermore, in-view completions rose from 26.7% to 35.1%.

The adtech company's analysis also showed a decline in the percentage of brand safety threats over the period studied, from 12.7% in the first half of the year to 5.0% in the second.

Specifically, Australian programmatic buying has shown impressive improvement, with risk decreasing from 12.7% to 5.4% over the same period.

Australian advertisers will welcome the news, as concerns over brand safety, specifically on YouTube, the Alphabet-owned video-sharing platform, have grown in recent months.

However, there is still work to be done. The report, which for the first time incorporated consumer-level insights, found that 70-85% of consumers are served just one viewable impression, and just over half are exposed to ads of five seconds or less.

In January of this year, ad verification company Meetrics revealed that only 49% of banner ads served during the final quarter of 2016 met the IAB and Media Ratings Council's recommendation.

Meanwhile in the US, comScore has announced that it will offer a free viewability measurement tool to clients across global markets. The tool, comScore Viewability, was created to allow clients to explore other metrics that really matter, said Dan Hess, EVP of Product at comScore.

Randall Rothenburg, president and CEO of the IAB, and a fervent advocate of viewability standards celebrated the development.

"It is critical that this industry stop wasting time on unproductive arguments about baseline standards and start investing time on what really matters – the strategies, ideas, and executions that move hearts, minds, and wallets."

Data sourced from B&T, comScore; additional content by WARC staff