54% Of Digital Ads Aren't Viewable, And Even 'Viewability' Is In A Black Box
More data has come out today that suggests roughly half -- or in this case 54% -- of digital ads aren't even viewable.
Ad impressions that are above the fold are viewable 49% of the time. Below-the-fold impressions become viewable just 30% of the time.
Highlighting the digital advertising industry's transparency concerns is the data that marketers don't know whether or not a full 40% of their viewable ads were placed above or below the fold. The fact that marketers don't know where nearly half of their viewable ads are initially placed is important because viewability metrics are often one benchmark of success for a campaign.
The data comes from Infectious Media, a company founded in 2008 that specializes in real-time advertising. They defined "viewable" in their infographic the same way IAB does: at least half of the ad must be in view for a minimum of one second.
The infographic also says that campaign performance is tied more closely to exposure (how long the ad was viewable) than frequency.
There are some
companies that track the difference between "viewable" and "seen." Essentially, just because an impression was viewable doesn't mean it was seen. Recent data suggests the actual seen rate of online ads is closer to 14%.
Editor's note: The initial version of this article incorrectly attributed the 54% figure to Infectious Media. That particular figure came from comScore's vCE Benchmarks study from June 2013.