As concerns grow over online ad viewability rates marketers have been hit with yet another issue following claims that poor webpage performance and ad serving systems are exacerbating the problem and could cost the industry nearly £1bn this year alone.
A new report from European ad verification company Meetrics shows that in Q3 2015, just 52% of online ads served in the UK met the already under fire IAB and Media Ratings Council’s recommendation that an ad is considered viewable if 50% of it is in view for at least one second.
Even though this represents a slight improvement, rising from 49% in Q2, is still well below that of Germany (even though levels there dropped from 64% to 61%) and France (with a huge rise from 62% to 69%).
Yet while Meetrics’ director of international business Anant Joshi concedes that viewability levels are, at last, heading in the right direction he maintains there is still a long way to go.
Based on the IAB’s latest digital ad spend report, the data suggests about £260m was wasted in Q3 on unseen ads – equivalent to over £1bn a year.
Joshi added: “The main reason ads aren’t viewable is they take too long to load – about 20% of ads served don’t load before a viewer has moved elsewhere.
“Consequently, the industry has much to do in terms of increasing web-page performance and ad serving systems, notably, to drastically reduce the amount of web browser redirects that go on behind the scenes before content is loaded.”
The report reveals half-page ads are the most viewable (72%) ad format, followed by Billboards (67%). Leaderboards are the least viewable (40%) format.
In July Meetrics calculated that £485m worth of online ads have never even been seen due to programmatic buying.
And just last month a separate survey revealed that half of all senior agency and publishing chiefs believe the viewability standards set by the IAB and Media Rating Council are simply not high enough.
The InSkin Media study showed that only about a third (37%) of digital chiefs think the official viewability guideline – that 50% of an ad has to be in view for one second, to be deemed viewable – is sufficient.
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