Mobile ads more viewable than desktop, but programmatic slips behind, study says

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 1.01.59 PMAdverts created for mobile are more viewable than desktop counterparts while ads served direct to publishers, rather than through programmatic channels, also have greater cut through, according to a new study.

A benchmarking report by ad management company Sizmek also validated a recent conclusion from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in the US that a viewability rate of 70 per cent for a campaign was “a reliable indicator of performance”.

Viewability is defined by the IAB as 50 per cent of an ad being seen for one second.

The study, which examined data from more than 240bn impressions in 2014, found that desktop standard banner ads had a 48 per cent viewability rate, way behind those of mobile at nearly 80 per cent.

For flash standard banners the gap closed to 50 per cent and 70 per cent respectively.

Desktop outperformed mobile for flash rich media ads – 59 per cent compared to less than 30 per cent – but mobile again topped desktop ads in HTML5 rich media format.

Elsewhere in the study Sizmek found that serving ads direct to publishers rather than programmatically increased average viewing rates.

Flash standards banners had a viewability rate of 60 per cent when channeled direct to publishers and only 41 per cent programmatically. Direct-to-publisher also out performed programmatic in other ad formats.

Alex White, VP product strategy at Sizmek said “specifics and definitions will no doubt continue to be debated” but added the results “back up” efforts at standardising viewability terminology “and move the industry toward a more transparent marketplace for digital ads”.

“Clearly, measuring whether an ad is viewable gives the industry a starting point for trading in true engagement,” he said.

Steve Jones


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