Lack Of Transparency Causes $10 Billion Loss In Mobile

S4M (Solutions for Mobile, a mobile-focused ad-tech platform), released the findings of a global study Tuesday showing that the mobile market is missing out on an additional $10 billion in revenue, due to a system-wide lack of transparency.

The study measured 1 billion ads across 30 campaigns, looking at both HTML 5 ads, typically used in branding campaigns, and static ads which are most often used in performance-based campaigns.

Twenty percent of the ads in the HTML5 format were found to have viewability issues. Almost 40% of ads in static formats appeared in unfavorable contexts.

Both ad formats suffered an 8% loss as a result of being displayed in the wrong display environment. In addition, S4M’s study found that campaigns with ads in static format are often performance-based — and this explains why ads are sometimes disseminated in adverse contexts.



According to eMarketer, the mobile market accounts for $68 billion. A $10 billion loss accounts for nearly 30% of the burgeoning market.

In conjunction with the study, S4M released a transparency measurement tool, called the AdVerification Score, which evaluates brand safety, device-targeting and viewability in each mobile ad, giving impressions a score out of 1,000. AdVerification measures performance from the ad request — the moment when an ad is called — until the ad impression, which is the actual moment when the format is delivered to the user.

S4M is based in France, but has been putting its foot in international doors for the past year, breaking into the U.S., greater Europe, Brazil and South America, as well as China.

COO and UK CEO Fred Joseph says that despite all the international expansion, transparency and viewability are the company’s main focus at the moment. Their own internal standard for a viewable ad is actually more stringent than the IAB standard, with viewable ads counting only when 100% of pixels are visible for one second.

2 comments about "Lack Of Transparency Causes $10 Billion Loss In Mobile".
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  1. Mark Pilipczuk from MAP Consulting LLC, October 13, 2015 at 7:02 p.m.

    A $10 billion loss for the industry? Why not frame this correctly--how much of the advertiser's ad spend, which is what makes the industry even possible--is being wasted? And by using S4M's tools, how much of that waste and fraud can be recovered and placed where it rightfully belongs, in the pocket of the advertiser?

    Further, why a 1,000 point scale? As an advertiser do I pay for scores of 689+, while under 688 are deductible from my invoice or eligible for make-goods? Why not a binary score. Give the impression a "1" if it does what I (the advertiser, not the agency) defines as a proper placement and a "0" if not.

  2. Fred Joseph from S4M, October 14, 2015 at 2:10 p.m.

    Thanks for the comment Mark. As you know e-Marketer's latest figures show circa $70b ad spend in mobile, so easy to make the maths about how much the industry is losing... By using S4M transparent tech with viewability standard of 100% pixels downloaded + 1 sec for ad formats and 100% landing page downloaded + 1 sec to qualify a visit, no wastage should be made and all $ spent by advertisers become fully working $. When using S4M any impression that scores below the standard above is not charged to advertisers. Last, we went for 1,000 point scale as we want to show as much granularity as possible in the report and dashboard available to our clients.
    Hope this answers your question.

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