New Study Backs Up IAB’s 70 Percent Viewability Threshold Recommendation
Sizmek report identifies several factors that can improve ad viewability.
A new report backs up the IAB’s December recommendation of a 70 percent viewability threshold for campaigns through 2015 as the industry transitions to buying and selling ads on a viewable impression basis in 2015.
The viewability argument, by nature, is an intuitive one — advertisers pay only for ads that are seen; ads that are seen perform better than those that aren’t. This can make studies on viewability feel anticlimactic, even as the efforts by the digital advertising industry to get to this point has been anything but easy.
After analyzing viewable data from over 240 billion impressions in 2014, ad management firm Sizmek, concluded that the IAB was on target in it’s recommendation that 70 percent of a campaign’s measured impressions should meet the minimum standard viewability rate of 50 percent of the ad being in view for at least one second. And it found that ads that met that threshold performed better across all measured impressions. In particular, they had higher click-through rates and higher interaction rates.
“The specifics and definitions will no doubt continue to be debated, but the recent efforts at standardizing viewability terminology move the industry toward a more transparent marketplace for digital ads, and our research backs that up,” said Alex White, VP Product Strategy at Sizmek. “Clearly, measuring whether an ad is viewable gives the industry a starting point for trading in true engagement.”
Sizmek also identified factors that influenced an ad’s likelihood to be viewable. Interactive rich media ad formats were more likely to be seen than static formats. However, HLTML5 ads outperformed both Flash rich media and Flash standard banners in viewability rates. Ads sold directly by publishers were more viewable than those sold programmatically, and mobile ad units had higher viewablity rates than desktop regardless of how they were sold.
The direct versus programmatic viewability difference was most dramatic in North America. Flash rich media ads sold direct had a 22 point increase in viewability rates, while HTML5 rich media ads increased 15 points.
Interestingly, the viewability differences for standard banners were much closer; HTML5 standard banners actually had slightly higher viewability rates when sold programmatically than direct.
The Viewability Benchmarks report is available for download here.