NEWS3 May 2017

Rise in mobile ad spend contributing to declining viewability

News Trends UK

UK – The rise in mobile advertising spend is contributing to a decline in ad viewability levels, according to the latest quarterly benchmark report from ad verification company Meetrics.

Blindfolded viewability_crop

The report revealed that in the first quarter of 2017, the proportion of banner ads served that met minimum viewability guidelines dropped from 49% to 47% – the lowest level for nine months. According to the recent IAB/PwC figures, this amounts to around £750m per year being wasted on non-viewable ads. 

Anant Joshi, Meetric’s commercial director for UK & Ireland, says that declining viewability is partly driven by the fact that mobile now accounts for over half of display ad spend, but has lower viewability rates than desktop for a number of reasons. 

"Obviously, the smaller screen size can mean more page scrolling and, thus, more chance of ads being missed lower down a page, plus slower network connection speeds can cause ad loading delays," said Joshi. "There’s also the legacy issue of desktop ads served on mobile which don’t format properly, despite the use of responsive design.”

These issues are compounded, says Joshi, by the increasing amount of mobile content consumed via apps, in which ads are more likely to be at the bottom of a page and so don't always get enough attention. This issue is not isolated to the UK: Germany has seen a three point decline in viewability, reaching 55%, while Austria dropped a single point to 67%. Meanwhile France rose by three points to 60%. All of these countries are still significantly ahead of the UK’s 47%.