UK advertisers spent about £606 million on online ads last year that didn’t meet minimum viewability thresholds, according to the latest quarterly benchmark report from ad verification company Meetrics. The report found that in the final quarter of 2016, just 49 percent of banner ads served met the IAB and Media Ratings Council’s generous recommendation that just 50 percent of the ad was in view for at least one second. This was the same figure as Q3, which itself was a marginal improvement on the 47 percent in Q2, but a noticeable drop from the 54 percent viewability level in Q1 2016.
“Despite the ongoing attention and initiatives focused on addressing viewability, things just aren’t really improving,” said Anant Joshi, Meetrics’ Director of International Business. “Yes, you can argue viewability has stabilised over the last couple of quarters and is marginally up on 6 months ago but the reality is viewability levels are lower than a year ago and over half of ads served still aren’t viewable.”
The UK remains significantly behind other European countries in terms of viewability levels: Austria is at 68 percent, Germany at 58 percent and France at 57 percent. “There’s a lot of energy and focus going into measuring viewability but nowhere near enough on building on that insight and proactively optimising for viewability, particularly on programmatic campaigns,” says Joshi.
“For example, it’s very easy to extract a list of under-performing domains – be it viewability or view time – and exclude or de-list them from any automated buying platform. This means buying from the higher performing domains can be increased. A greater focus on simple steps such as these would see viewability rise significantly in 2017,” he added.