News, Press Releases

Programmatic ads outperform direct buys for the first time in Sweden

Apr 23, 2019

The latest Swedish Media Quality Report from Integral Ad Science provides benchmarks for viewability, brand safety, and ad fraud

Stockholm, 23 April 2019 – Today, Integral Ad Science (IAS), the global data and technology company that empowers the advertising industry to effectively grow the world’s leading brands, releases its first full year Media Quality Report, giving transparency into the quality of digital media in Sweden.

The report reveals that for the first time, programmatic viewability rates out-performed publisher direct buys across desktop display. In 2018, two-thirds (66.9%) of programmatic desktop display impressions served in Sweden met the minimum viewability standards*. However, in mobile web environments, impressions sourced via direct buys produced higher viewability, with nearly three-fifths (56.9%) of impressions found to be in-view compared to just over half (53.1%) for impressions sourced via programmatic channels.

When determining the greatest opportunity to capture Swedish consumer attention, advertisers can look to time-based measurement and programmatic. Last year, the average overall duration an ad was in-view for desktop display campaigns was 9.83 seconds in programmatic, versus 9.64 seconds for direct buys. This highlights that Swedish advertisers have under 10 seconds to make an impact with their desktop campaigns.

Björn Lindholm, Director for Nordics at Integral Ad Science, comments, “Findings from the 2018 Sweden Media Quality Report demonstrate a shift towards programmatic trading, with the term ‘programmatic’ no longer associated with lower quality inventory. This is likely due in part to an increase in publishers utilising programmatic to sell valuable inventory, via private marketplaces.”

The shift towards more valuable programmatic trading is also reflected in levels of ad fraud. The 2018 report shows that for optimised desktop display campaigns – those that employed technology to detect and prevent ad fraud – up to 0.5% of impressions bought programmatically were wasted to ad fraud, and this doubled when looking at impressions bought direct.

Lindholm continues, “Thanks to increasing budget flowing into digital, advertisers are demanding greater quality and maximised impact from their entire media plan. According to eMarketer, digital ad spending will reach €1.8 billion in 2019 in Sweden. With the idea of even having 1% of that spend wasted by being intercepted by fraudsters, advertisers are starting to plan accordingly to improve their ad effectiveness.”

The full report can be viewed here

Press Contact

If you are a member of the press and are interested in covering us, please contact us at