There’s a fair amount of fraud in the display ad landscape, says research from ad intelligence company Integral Ad Science.
The company has released its Q4 2014 Media Quality Report based on insights gleaned from the hundreds of billions of impressions Integral processes quarterly. The report reveals an increase in video viewability, a slight increase in brand risk across channels and a steady amount of fraud in the display landscape.
During the fourth quarter, display inventory sourced directly from publishers saw little change in quality with regard to viewability and ad fraud. Display ads on publisher sites achieved about the same viewability over both quarters, 53.4 percent in Q3 and 52.7 percent in Q4. Ad fraud increased slightly from 3 percent in Q3 to 3.3 percent in Q4.
Meanwhile, inventory sourced from networks and exchanges saw improvement in viewability in Q4, potentially due to increased pressures from advertisers. According to Integral’s Year End Survey results published last month, 57 percent of the industry transacted based on viewability in 2014, and even more so — 73 percent — plan to do so this year.
Additionally, 85 percent engaged in programmatic buying, which includes real-time bidding. These activities may have led to an increase in the adoption of viewability measurement technologies by networks and exchanges, as well as optimisation of media toward viewability. Perhaps as a result, viewability for display inventory was 42.6 percent in Q4, up from 36.7 percent in Q3. Ad fraud experienced a small uptick from 13.7 percent in Q3 to 14.5 percent in Q4.
The fourth quarter also saw video ad viewability increase from 30 percent in Q3 to 39 percent in Q4. Not surprisingly, completion rates while in view also rose from 20 percent to 26 percent. Brand risk for video saw a slight increase from 18.7 percent in Q3 to 20.7 percent in Q4, contributing to a noticeable decline in TRAQ, Integral’s overall media quality assessment score. This decline was also likely due to the increased supply of lower quality inventory made available to take advantage of a time when user attention and advertising demand were up.
“It’s become increasingly apparent to the industry that various elements impact media quality,” said Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral Ad Science. “There is heightened awareness and demand for ads to meet or exceed quality standards. We will continue to monitor how these sentiments influence the overall landscape and contribute to the success of digital campaigns for both buyers and sellers.”