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Viewability rates fall

News, 14 August 2015

NEW YORK: The ad industry is struggling to improve viewability rates as a new study shows them getting worse rather than better, despite growing pressure from media buyers and advertisers.

Integral Ad Science's Q2 2015 Media Quality Report, based on analysis of the hundreds of billions of impressions the firm processes every quarter, showed overall viewability rates had dropped five percentage points year over year, from 49.4% to 44.0%.

The viewability rate for ads sourced directly from publishers declined from 55.5% to 50.1% while that for ads from networks and exchanges fell around 45% to 39.9% over the same period.

"The decrease in viewability rates year over year shows us that there is still a great deal of work to be done," observed Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral Ad Science.

The study had more positive news on the issue of ad fraud, however, which decreased from 14.1% of all ads to 11.2%.

Again, the rates varied depending on the source of the ads. Publishers, who exert more control over which ads appear, had a fraud rate of just 3.7%, down from 4% in the first quarter.

Networks and exchanges were around four times more likely to experience fraud, with a rate of 14.1% in the second quarter, down from 16.5% in Q1.

Video fraud, the report noted, was down from 14.0% to 11.6% quarter on quarter while video brand risk – the third factor measured by Integral as it judges where ads are shown – had "decreased noticeably" from 22.7% to 15.4%.

That figure compared with an overall brand risk level of 12.2%, which was similar to that reported the previous quarter.

Integral also combined all three metrics to produce a True Advertising Quality Score (TRaq) which produced an overall score of 604 on a scale of 250 to 1000.

Data sourced from Integral Ad Science; additional content by Warc staff