“Heaps Of Factors Determine If An Ad Is Viewable”: Sizmek

“Heaps Of Factors Determine If An Ad Is Viewable”: Sizmek
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It’s one of the trends marketers need to keep on top of this year, and new research from ad management platform, Sizmek, has shed more light on viewability as a digital ad measurement metric.

Sizmek has conducted research to figure out what factors contribute to people actually seeing a digital ad and clicking through, something it calls Viewability Benchmarks.

Looking at data from 240 billion measured impressions, Sizmek determined a number of contributing factors to having ads with a ‘viewable’ impression, such as ads with more interactive formats have an increased viewability, and ads that are also served direct to the publishers showed increased viewability than those served programmatically.

In December last year the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released its State of Viewability Transaction 2015 to see where the viewability discussion was going. The report determined that having an ad with 100% viewability wasn’t possible at the moment.

Having an ad with a viewable impression means having an ad on the page where a consumer is likely to see the majority of it, not just a corner or a small section. The current standard for having a display ad with a viewable impression is to have 50 per cent of the pixels showing for a minimum of one second on desktop. And for ads with video it’s 50 per cent visible for two seconds.

The IAB says this will mean further accountability in digital media. Check out IAB’s explanation video below.

“The specifics and definitions will no doubt continue to be debated, but the recent efforts at standardising viewability terminology move the industry toward a more transparent marketplace for digital ads, and our research backs that up,” says Alex White, VP product strategy at Sizmek. “Clearly, measuring whether an ad is viewable gives the industry a starting point for trading in true engagement.”

“We encourage ongoing empirical work around viewability, especially viewability as defined by the MRC,” said Sherrill Mane, senior vice president, research, analytics and measurement, IAB.  “We are encouraged, in turn, by the results of Sizmek’s study.”

Within the IAB State of Viewability, the industry body recommended using a campaign threshold of 70 per cent, “meaning that of all measured impressions (those that could be measured by a vendors tools) 70 per cent of those campaigns impressions must meet the minimum standard viewability definition of 50 per cent of the ad in view for at least one second,” said Sizmek’s research.

The research found that ads that met the threshold or higher performed a lot better than ads that didn’t.

Too, ads that contained video or images, and some sort of interaction (rich media), performed 18 per cent better than standard banner ads.

Graph via Sizmek's study.

Graph via Sizmek’s study.

When delving deeper into ads that used HTML5 and Flash – two design softwares that help create interactive ads – campaigns that used HTML5 had improved viewable rate than the ones that utilized Flash. Standard banner ads increased their viewability rate by 25%.

And as everything is going mobile now, so too are viewable ads. The Sizmek research reported: “Viewable rates, when examined by device specific unit sizes, show that mobile was generally more viewable than desktop sizes.”

The final two findings show that ads served direct to the different publishers increased viewabailtiy than ads served via programmatic means. This was the same across the world, with North America recording the most pronounced difference.

sizmek research

Graph via Sizmek’s study.

And “despite programmatic’s lower overall viewability, mobile-specific unit sizes were higher than their desktop counterparts,” reported Sizmek.

The move to viewable ad impressions is has been a hot topic among the industry.

In April last year America’s Media Ratings Council (MRC) gave the green light to moving on from the ‘served’ impression metric to the ‘viewable’ impression.

The research demonstrates how there a number of factors that contribute to viewability rates.

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