Programmatic is the key driver of UK digital media quality improvements in 2020 according to new IAS report

Oct 06, 2020

The latest Media Quality Report provides global benchmarks for viewability, brand safety and suitability, and ad fraud across digital environments and channels

 London, UK, 6 October 2020: Today, Integral Ad Science (IAS), the global leader in digital ad verification, releases its Media Quality Report for H1 2020, providing transparency into the performance and quality of UK digital media, alongside global comparisons.

Programmatic drives boost in UK digital media quality

The UK has cemented itself as a leader when it comes to brand risk reduction related to digital ad adjacencies. Video inventory in particular, achieved lower rates of brand risk when purchased programmatically, with mobile web video programmatic risk falling 1.8 percentage points to 5.6% when compared with the six months prior. For desktop video, the risk of being placed next to contextually unsuitable or unsafe content decreased by 0.6 percentage points to 5.3% in H1 2020. 

When compared to the average worldwide risk, UK programmatic buys continued to outperform global programmatic averages across every environment measured – desktop display, desktop video, mobile web display and mobile web video. 

“The strong performance of programmatic media quality as pertains to brand risk is very likely due to the widespread use of pre-bid brand safety technology,” said Nick Morley, Managing Director, EMEA at Integral Ad Science. “IAS offers UK advertisers the confidence to invest in high quality programmatic media and drive efficiency for their campaign outcomes.”

Viewability* continued to rise in the UK across all formats and environments driven by strong programmatic performance throughout H1 2020. Programmatically transacted mobile app display inventory saw the biggest jump in viewable impressions. Increased adoption of the IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement SDK saw programmatic mobile app display viewable impressions increase by 5.1 percentage points to almost three-quarters (73.0%) when compared with H2 2019. Desktop video programmatic buys continued to surpass the three-quarter viewability mark at 75.1%.

Generally, ad fraud levels in the UK remained steady throughout H1 2020 with all inventory optimised against fraudulent activity on par, or below the worldwide average. Mobile web video saw the biggest drop in fraudulent activity for programmatic buys, decreasing 0.2 percentage points to 0.4%. 

Morley continues: “As hate speech and misinformation have come to the fore in 2020, we have seen an increased focus on brand suitability and risk management. Advertisers have turned to contextual technologies to ensure that their advertising does not inadvertently appear adjacent to hateful content or misinformation. Couple this with ad fraud levels remaining low when utilising IAS fraud mitigation technology and a continued improvement in viewability, and it’s clear UK marketers are focused on realising efficiencies with their advertising budgets.”

Integral Ad Science’s H1 2020 Media Quality Report highlights brand safety, ad fraud, and viewability trends across display, video, mobile web, and in-app advertising. The Media Quality Report analysed data from trillions of global impressions, from advertising campaigns that ran between January 1st and June 30th 2020. Leveraging Science + Scale the H1 2020 report provides the largest country expansion to date, with five new markets: India, Indonesia, Mexico, Singapore, and Sweden. The full report can be viewed at https://go.integralads.com/uk-mqr-2019-h2

*Viewability is determined for display and mobile ads as 50% of the ad unit in view for one continuous second, for large display ad formats as 30% of the ad unit in view for one continuous second, and for video ads as 50% of the ad unit in view for two continuous seconds, as per MRC standards.

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