The major push to address online ad viewability is being thwarted by the seemingly unstoppable rise in programmatic buying, according to the latest figures which show that, for the second consecutive quarter, fewer than half of online ads served in the UK met minimum viewability thresholds.
The report from ad verification company Meetrics claims this has cost UK advertisers around £154m, in Q2 alone, based on IAB/PwC’s Adspend figures published last week.
The study shows that only 49% met the IAB and Media Ratings Council’s recommendation that 50% of the ad was in view for at least 1 second. However, this was a marginal improvement on 47% from the second quarter in 2016.
Despite the improvement, the UK remains significantly behind other European countries in terms of viewability levels: Austria is at 69%, France at 60% and Germany at 59%.
“To be honest, due to the attention and initiatives focused on addressing viewability, we’d expected a bigger improvement in the UK in the third quarter,” said Anant Joshi, Meetrics’ director of international business. “However, it seems that these efforts only just outweigh the impact of programmatic ad delivery and the amount of ad re-loading done by publishers to boost inventory levels. It’s still translating into about £615 million wasted annually on non-viewable banner ads alone.”
Viewability levels for video ads are better at 68%, however, this is against a measure of 50% in view for at least 2 seconds. Joshi said: “Advertisers should critically evaluate whether 50/2 is enough to have any form of impact. For example, if one considers a view-time of 10 seconds, which will have an impact, video viewability drops to 30%.”
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