UK Advert Viewability Hits Highest Level In 18 Months

Meetrics Ad Viewability

Online Advert viewability levels in the UK increased to 54% in the first quarter of 2016, the highest level for 18 months, according to a new report from ad verification company Meetrics, a leading company on the global market for technical solutions.

The last time it was higher was 55% in Q3 2014. However, despite the 4% point jump on the previous quarter to 54%, 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%.

An ad is considered viewable if it meets the IAB and Media Ratings Council’s recommendation that 50% of the ad’s pixels are in the “viewable” portion of an internet browser, for at least one continuous second.

Steve Chester, director of data and industry programmes at the IAB, said:

Moving to viewable impressions offers the valuable prospect of guaranteed impacts for advertisers, who in 2013 spent £1.9 billion on digital display.

Anant Joshi, Meetrics’ Director of International Business said:

Viewability is rising due to two main factors. As the whole ‘ad verification’ topic gets more publicity, it gains prominence in marketing departments, consequently, more campaigns are being optimised against viewability figures. Furthermore, the issue of low-viewable inventory in programmatic – which now accounts for 60% of display ad sales – is 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 £600 million wasted annually.

Eleven media owners have already been approved by the Media Ratings Council in the US, including Google, Integral Ad Science and comScore.

Why ads aren’t viewable?

Advertisers and publishers are now also able to see why ads aren’t viewable. For example, only 15.1% of adverts studied weren’t viewable because the ad didn’t load quickly enough before the viewer moved elsewhere. The next main reason was that the advert appeared “below the fold” (12.8%), i.e. it was outside of the visible area of the page without scrolling the page downwards.

Joshi comments:

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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