Quantcast Research Uncovers Sorry State of Viewability

Viewability Ad Eye 2New research by analytics firm Quantcast has demonstrated how poorly the advertising industry is addressing the need for more guaranteed viewability in ads, with only three per cent of European ad inventory available with 80 per cent-plus viewability guaranteed.

The research is the result of over three years of work, during which Quantcast analysed over 5bn impressions per month across over 10,000 publishers on every major real-time bidding exchange. Every major Media Rating Council-accredited viewability vendor was evaluated in multiple rounds of head-to-head testing.

Quantcasts studies found that the current limited levels of viewability-guaranteed ad inventory mean that enforcing a high viewability goal on a campaign can be detrimental to both online ad campaign performance and the ability to fully complete these campaigns. Even lowering the viewability-guarantee to 70 per cent, only six per cent of all ad inventory is available.

“Viewability has been an issue for the online advertising industry for years, yet understanding the current state of viewability and what is means for online advertising is challenging for marketers because of the scale of the problem, and the impact on campaigns, has remained ambiguous,” said Matthew White, managing director for the UK at Quantcast.

One of the most troubling results of the research, particularly in an industry that is constantly searching for the highest return on investment, was that at 75 per cent viewability-guaranteed and higher, inventory was 92 per cent more expensive than average programmatic inventory.

“The results of our research show that, as an industry, we still have a long way to go, not just in terms of viewable inventory, but in the way that we evaluate our online campaigns. There is no doubt that viewability will be a mainstay metric in our industry, however, this research shows that the success of viewability will depend on the growth in the amount of viewable inventory, as well as the ability of marketers to balance their performance and viewability needs.”