Ad Viewability Benchmarks in 2015

Ad Optimization
Last updated: August 1, 2019 | by Kean Graham

This post was most recently updated on August 1st, 2019

Many ad networks are now shifting to pay for ‘viewable’ instead of ‘served’ impressions. Not all impressions counted as ‘served’ are actually seen by users. A recent study conducted by Google, with the use of their Active View Technology, showed that 56.1% of all ads served are not seen, but the average publishers’ viewability is  50.2%. There is a small number (6.1%) of publishers serving most of the non-viewable impressions.

What does ‘viewable’ mean?

50% of an ad’s pixels are in view on the screen for a minimum of one second (Media Rating Council definition)

viewability distribution across domains

Viewability rate = % of ads determined viewable / the total number of ads measured
Low viewability would mean low-value inventory. Your site would less likely attract quality advertisers and that may hurt revenue in the long run. It’s never too late to make some positive changes this 2015.

What are the factors that affect viewability?

1) Ad position on the page

The recommended, most viewable placement is NOT at the top of the page but above the fold. It is important to note though that Above the Fold does not always equate to Viewability. There too are many below the fold impressions which are often viewable (Average viewability rate: 68% ATF, 40% BTF).

viewable positions

2) Ad sizes you choose

Studies have shown that the vertical ad units (e.g. 120×240, 160×600, 120×600) are the most viewable ones.

rates by ad size

3) Type of Industry or Vertical

While it varies across content verticals, and industries, content that holds a user’s attention tend to have the highest viewability. Strive to make your site’s content more engaging!

Viewability Rates Across Industries

statistics across industries

Related Read: Engage and Monetize: How to Win Readers’ Attention while Earning from Ads

This concept of viewability is an eye-opener for both advertisers and publishers. We got used to the old habit of merely counting the served impressions. This 2015, publishers should also give attention to viewable impressions as that is the new industry standard.

It is ‘to see’ (for publishers) and ‘be seen’ (for advertisers) that keeps the ball rolling.

If you want to consult with us how you can improve your inventory’s ad viewability, you may contact us here.

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