Yes, there is — according to a new study on viewability conducted by InSkin Media, Research Now and Sticky.
The study, released this past Friday, found that 25% of ads considered viewable by industry standards -- 50% of pixels on screen for at least one second -- are never looked at. A third of these ads have a gaze time of under one second, with just 42% looked at for at least a second.
The overall median time that a viewable ad is looked at is about 0.7 seconds, as measured by eye-tracking technology developed by Sticky.
The study found that in order to ensure gaze times over one second, an ad needs to be on the screen for at least 26 seconds. The ad needs to be on screen for 33 second to hit over two seconds of gaze time, and 44 second to reach over four seconds of appreciation.
Jean Templin, VP of product for Sticky, weighed in on the report by email. “I think the industry is already moving away from trusting viewability as a complete metric,” she said. “Viewability doesn't tell brands if people are actually engaging with their ads, only that it has loaded on the page. While this is a starting indicator that an ad has been seen, it doesn't tell the whole story.”
Templin also put forward a new metric that marketers should focused on instead: “Advertisers should be measuring whether or not their content is actually seen by consumers, not just viewable based on industry standards. By doing so, advertisers will have a much better understanding of how their ads are resonating. We're calling this new metric SeenPM.”
Nevertheless, viewability is still a usable metric, according to Templin. “Brands should approach viewability as a first step in ensuring their content is appearing on the page, and then look for better metrics to determine if their content is actually resonating with consumers.”