A chink of light has emerged in the long tunnel of online advertising viewability with new figures suggesting levels in the UK are the highest for 18 months, although there is still a mammoth journey ahead for the sector.
According to a new report from ad verification company Meetrics, inched up 4% to 54% in the first quarter of 2016, but the UK still lags well behind other European countries in terms of viewability levels: France stands at 66%, Austria at 65% and Germany at 60%.
The figures are in sharp contrast the last quarter of 2015, when viewability crashed. An ad is considered viewable if it meets the IAB and Media Ratings Council’s recommendation that 50% of it is in view for at least one second.
Meetrics’ director of international business Anant Joshi claims that as the ad verification topic gets more publicity, it is gaining prominence in marketing departments, consequently, more campaigns are being optimised against viewability figures.
Furthermore, he adds, that the issue of low-viewable inventory in programmatic – which now accounts for 60% of display ad sales – is also being addressed.
However, there’s still a long way to go – the IAB’s new Adspend figures suggest the 46% of banner ads not viewable means over £600m is being wasted annually.
Advertisers and publishers are now also able to see why ads are not viewable. Meetrics cites figures for one campaign (pictured); 15.1% of ads were not viewable because the ad did not load quickly enough before the viewer moved elsewhere. This was followed by the ad appearing below the fold (12.8%).
Joshi added: “A key route to improving viewability is increasing web-page performance and ad serving systems, notably, drastically reducing the amount of web browser redirects going on behind the scenes before content is loaded.
“Initiatives like the IAB’s Lean Ad Principles – actually designed to counter ad-blocking – should have a positive knock-on effect on viewability.”
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