U.S. digital video ad spending is poised to increase by 33.8 percent this year and maintain double-digit growth through at least 2019, according to eMarketer. This forecast masks structural problems in the digital video advertising industry, most notably a disagreement between buyers and sellers over current standards for ad viewability—that is, determining whether an ad is within the user’s view when it’s playing. Kind of important, wouldn’t you think?
In November 2014, advertising analytics firm Integral Ad Science polled U.S. digital media buyers and sellers on their impressions of the Media Rating Council’s (MRC’s) viewability standards. Not surprisingly, the survey found a clear majority of buyers didn’t think the standards were adequate, while suppliers were generally okay with them.
According to Moat, Q4 2014 saw worldwide viewability rates for :15 and :30 second video ads hovering around 51 percent (based on a 2-second in-view rate.) That means that roughly 50% of video ads were viewable, according to the MRC’s 2-second benchmark.
Viewability rates increased substantially with ads purchased through programmatic direct channels in the US compared with overall pre-roll video, according to a study from TubeMogul. This is because such inventory is typically targeted at viewers who are predisposed to like specific types of content, such as fantasy sports or skateboarding.
With video becoming more and more important, both to brands and to advertisers, this stuff is important to pay attention to.