The digital ad industry’s viewability woes just keep getting bigger.
Data from the third quarter of 2014 finds little more than a third (36.7%) of all display ads purchased on networks and ad exchanges were deemed “viewable” per the Media Rating Council (MRC) standard of 50% of the ad being in-view for at least one second. That’s down from the 45.3% rate posted in the second quarter, which was down from the 51.3% rate posted in the first quarter.
A silver lining is hard to find in the report, which comes from Integral Ad Science.
Viewability rates plummeted if the standard was extended from one second to five seconds, as only 21.6% of ads were in-view for more than five continuous seconds. Similarly, only 12.5% of ads were in-view for more than 15 seconds. All of these figures are down from the previous quarter.
Integral also reports that 13.7% of display ads traded on networks and exchanges in the third quarter were fraudulent, which was a major reason that networks and exchanges received a 540 “true advertising quality” (TRAQ) score, which is based on a mix of fraud, viewability, ad clutter, brand safety and professionalism ratings.
The TRAQ score has also been on a downward spiral this year, with the 540 score (out of 1000) below the second quarter's mark of 576 -- which was below the first-quarter mark of 578, a figure that was itself down from the fourth-quarter 2013 mark of 597. Integral notes that 17.4% of all display ad inventory traded via networks and exchanges last quarter was considered “moderate to very high risk” inventory in the brand safety department.
The latest Integral Ad Science Media Quality Report also includes data on video advertising.
“We’re excited to include video in our latest Media Quality Report and will continue to provide quality benchmarks for use across the industry,” stated Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral.
Over one in five (20.7%) of video ads bought on networks and exchanges in the third quarter were deemed “moderate to very high risk” for brands, per the report. The entire industry -- including exchanges, networks and direct-with-publisher deals -- combined for a 30% video viewability rate on the quarter, per the MRC standard for video viewability, which requires the ad to be in-view for two continuous seconds. Of video ads that were completed, only 20% were viewable throughout their duration.