September 6, 2017

Global Digital Advertising Benchmarks Show Improving Viewability Rates and Strong Mobile Performance

Gabe Goldstein
Senior Director, Advertising Products

Each quarter, comScore releases global industry benchmarks from the billions of impressions it measures through validated Campaign Essentials to give the industry a better understanding of relative campaign performance.

These benchmarks provide useful baselines for comparison, though it’s important to remember that observed metrics for any individual campaign can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including campaign objective, quality of creative, size of creative, size of audience target, placement strategy, and industry vertical.

Key Findings from our Q2 2017 vCE Campaign Benchmarks:

  • Viewability rates continue to improve across regional markets.
  • When it comes to in-target delivery, mobile significantly outshined desktop in most advertiser product categories.
  • Direct buys consistently outperform programmatic in viewability and IVT for both desktop display and video ads.

Global viewability rates continue to improve across markets

Global viewability rates in Q2 improved by an average of 1 percentage point from the prior quarter, with viewability rates varying across markets. Across the ten markets included in our benchmarks, six saw viewability gains vs. only one market seeing declines (three remained relatively unchanged). The U.S. and Canada saw the highest viewability rates across regions with an average of 56%, while the UK saw the lowest, with less than half of ads—49%— being viewed. 

Global In View

 

While viewability is a critical component of evaluating ad performance, it should be used as a diagnostic measure to qualify exposure, not as a metric of effectiveness. Viewability is necessary, but not sufficient, to drive effectiveness or impact.

Mobile outperforms desktop for in-target delivery

In the U.S., mobile ads saw higher in-target rates on average (53%) when compared to desktop (49%) and this disparity was even more pronounced for a handful of major product categories, such as CPG and Telecom. Higher in-target delivery on mobile may be due to the fact that it’s easier to deliver against the right audience on primarily single-user devices vs. multiple-user desktop computers.

In target

 

Direct still leads programmatic in better viewability and lower IVT across the board

Impressions were less likely to be viewable and more susceptible to invalid traffic when delivered programmatically. This is especially true for video, where programmatic magnifies the IVT issue.

View and IVT

 

This low viewability for video advertising in programmatic goes hand-in-hand with high IVT, which is a key driver of low viewability. Because there is more opportunity for bad actors in the programmatic space, they will often target video inventory, which has higher average CPMs than display advertising – and is therefore more lucrative for fraudsters.

Better manage your campaigns with KPIs

To give your campaign the greatest chance at success, it is vital to minimize the impact of ads that can’t been seen by a human or are outside of the intended audience target. Key metrics for viewability, invalid traffic, and in-target delivery can help marketers understand how their campaigns are performing, allowing them to focus more broadly on the measures that indicate impact.

  • To see how your campaigns stack up globally, and to improve performance in-flight across a variety of measures – including viewability, brand safety, and in-target delivery – learn more about comScore validated Campaign Essentials.
  • To improve viewability performance for desktop and mobile campaigns, learn more about comScore Viewability, our free, self-service viewability measurement solution.