UK mobile ad performance exceeds global benchmarks according to new IAS report

Apr 01, 2020

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

London, UK, 1 April 2020: Today, Integral Ad Science (IAS), the global leader in digital ad verification, releases its Media Quality Report for H2 2019, providing transparency into the performance and quality of UK digital media, alongside global comparisons.

UK viewability increases, led by mobile

For the UK, viewability* of mobile web video inventory hit 70.7% in H2 2019, exceeding the 70% in-view benchmark that desktop impressions achieved in H1 2019. 

Mobile web display ads surpassed the global viewability average of just over three-fifths (63.3%), to reach a UK benchmark nearing three-quarters (68.3%) for H2 2019. Notably, viewability within UK mobile app display achieved the second highest increase globally – increasing nearly a quarter (23.6%) year-on-year, to 68.7% of ads in view during H2 2019.

The report also shows the UK’s time-in-view benchmark for mobile app display as 25.47 seconds, surpassing the global average of 24.47 seconds. However, mobile web display in the UK was slightly down, at 14.84 seconds compared to the global average of 15.51 seconds. 

Nick Morley, EMEA MD at Integral Ad Science, comments: “Advertisers are making mobile viewability a priority as they mirror the shift of consumer behaviour towards increased mobile use. The digital advertising industry should be encouraged to see inventory exceeding 70% viewability in video and display, with mobile web and in-app approaching this target at speed. This is thanks to increasing vigilance from the digital advertising ecosystem when it comes to verification, with viewability rising, and ad fraud and brand risk continuing to fall. However, to continue on this positive trajectory, it is essential that ad fraud strategies and suitability thresholds are constantly reviewed and maintained.”

Other key findings of the report include:

Brand risk continues to decrease, especially for video

  • The UK saw the highest improvement in brand risk for desktop video – an average of 6.4% of total ads were found to appear next to unsafe content in H2 2019, down from more than one in 10 (11.9%) in H2 2018.
  • The UK cemented itself as the second-most brand safe environment in the world for mobile web display, with only 3.7% of ads found next to unsafe content. Australia came in first at only 2.5% of ads placed next to unsuitable content for H2 2019.
  • The UK was also the third safest country for desktop display, with only 2.6% of ads found next to unsafe content. The safest country was Italy at 1.8%, followed by Australia at 1.9% of ads found next to unsuitable desktop display content. 

Ad fraud in the UK falls below global average

  • Sitting well below the global average of 1.1% for desktop display and 0.9% for desktop video, the UK’s ad fraud risk decreased by 0.3% and 0.4% respectively since H2 2018, to reach 0.7% across the board in H2 2019.
  • Mobile web video stayed steady at only 0.5% of inventory flagged as fraudulent.

Integral Ad Science’s H2 2019 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 July 1st and December 31st 2019. The full report can be viewed here

*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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