BRUSSELS: Around the world, reported average ad viewability from MRC-accredited companies for video stands at 60% while display is just under 50%, new research reveals.

The Global Viewability Benchmarking report, from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), is based on data from seven verification companies covering more than 20 of the biggest ad markets for both desktop and mobile viewability.

This found a marginal improvement – 0.6% – in performance for display during the first half of 2017, the latest period for which data is available, and a more significant rise for video – up four percentage points.

The improvement in video performance is believed to be down to the pivot to premium sites among advertisers and a gradual removal of long-tail, less effective publishers.

Average display viewability was seen to be highest in Sweden (52%) and worst in Russia (32%), which performed 10 points worse than the second-lowest market (China).

Video performance, meanwhile, was best in Austria, where 72% of video was seen, with Indonesia coming in last at 35%.

The data does not include either Facebook or YouTube, however, because there are limits on what verification companies can track on these platforms.

“Viewability is expected to be lower in newsfeed environments, linked to the speed users scroll through content, so a true census of the market would probably find lower global viewability levels than those identified by the WFA’s data,” said Matt Green, global lead – media & digital at the WFA.

But he maintained that viewability levels associated with the MRC’s definition will grow more quickly as more global marketers and national advertiser associations specify a higher basic viewability threshold.

“Ultimately, brands should be able to trade on whatever viewability level delivers the required outcome at the right cost,” he said, adding that “advertisers should seek to ensure that all impressions are viewable, seen by a human and in a brand safe environment”.

Advertisers should also be aware that different verification companies can produce very different average viewability rates for each market, as not only do their own techniques and technologies vary from each other but clients can use a variety of formats and placements.

Sourced from WFA; additional content by WARC staff