UK ad viewability tops 70 per cent for the first time: report

Desktop display viewability – where 50 per cent of the ad unit in view for one continuous second, or 30 per cent for large display ad formats and for video ads 50 per cent of the ad unit in view for two continuous seconds – exceeded 70 per cent during H1 2019, with the UK achieving 70.9 per cent viewability – an increase of 7.5 percentage points year-on-year. The figures come from Integral Ad Science’s (IAS) Media Quality Report for H1 2019.

Canada edged ahead to take top place at 73.6 per cent, with Germany coming in third at 69.4 per cent. Impressively, global viewability averages surpassed 60 per cent across all formats and environments in H1 2019, reflecting a worldwide commitment to increased quality following advertiser demands.

Mobile app engagement strongest in UK
In the UK, mobile in-app environments drove the highest in-view duration at 22.52 seconds. UK desktop display ads hit 21.67 seconds in duration, slightly below the global average of 23.53 seconds.

The consistent decrease for brand risk in the UK continued in H1 2019, with a 1.7 percentage point drop from 4.5 per cent in H1 2018 to 2.8 per cent in H1 2019 for desktop display. This places the UK in third place in the global risk rankings, with Italy coming top at 1.9 per cent, followed by Australia at 2.5 per cent and well below the global average of 4.7 per cent of ads found next to unsuitable content.

For video, almost one in ten (9.8 per cent) ad impressions appeared next to inappropriate content, yet this year still saw a 0.8 percentage point decrease compared to last year (10.6 per cent to 9.8 per cent). Italy continued its leading streak, with low risk across video impressions for desktop and mobile (3.2 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively).

“Our H1 2019 Media Quality Report indicates a consistent drop in brand risk for the UK, with viewability levels continuing to rise,” said Nick Morley, EMEA MD at Integral Ad Science,. “When compared globally, the UK appears consistently in the top rankings, showcasing the current high quality of UK digital advertising. It’s thanks to this level of granular and global insight that brands can protect their advertising investments in a fragmented ecosystem and ensure they drive the greatest return.”

For media buys optimised against ad fraud, levels increased by 0.2 percentage points year- on-year, up to 0.9 per cent from 0.7 per cent. Despite the increase, compared to the global average of 1.1 per cent, the UK sees less fraud, possibly due to greater awareness within the digital advertising market. The safest harbour from ad fraud is New Zealand, with only a 0.4 per cent risk, whilst Japan takes last place with fraudulent impressions at 2.6 per cent.

Integral Ad Science’s H1 2019 Media Quality Report highlights brand safety, ad fraud, and viewability trends across display, video, mobile web, and in-app advertising. The Media Quality Report analysed data from trillions of global impressions, from advertising campaigns that ran between 1 January and 30 June 2019.