December 2014

An ad served doesn't necessarily equal an ad viewed, and digital advertisers and publishers are catching onto this as the industry shifts toward valuing viewable rather than served impressions. So what affects an ad's viewability? To find out, we conducted a study of our display advertising platforms, including Google and DoubleClick. In the infographic below, we reveal five factors that affect the extent to which ads are seen, from page position to ad dimensions and more. One surprising finding: Above the fold does not always mean viewable.


<p>Similar to what’s happening in display advertising, there’s a shift underway from served to viewable impressions for video ads. By transacting only on videos that are viewable, advertisers can ensure that their ads are seen, and as a result, they can enhance their return on investment (ROI). To better understand the current state of video ad viewability on YouTube and across the web, we analyzed our DoubleClick, Google, and YouTube advertising platforms using Google’s Active View measurement technology. Here we explore the factors that help determine video viewability</p> <p>Video Viewability Rate:</p> <p>Percentage of viewable impressions out of the total number of viewable plus non-viewable impressions. WHAT COUNTS AS VIEWABLE? A video ad is viewable when at least 50% of the ad’s pixels are visible on a screen for at least two consecutive seconds, as defined by the Media Rating Council (MRC), in conjunction with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).</p> <p>State of Video Ad Viewability</p> <p>Average viewability of video ads across the web (not including YouTube) is 54%</p> <p>For YouTube, video viewability for web across devices and apps is significantly higher at 91%.</p> <p>But even ads that are not viewable buy audible only on YouTube impact brand lift. Users exposed to YouTube impact brand lift. Users exposed to YouTube ads that are only heard and not seen had 33.1% more ad recall compared to those who didn't experience the ads at all (control).</p> <p>Device Matters</p> <p>Video ads are significantly more viewable on mobile and tablet devices than on desktop.</p> <p>Video Ad Viewability Across the Web</p> <p>Desktop: 53%</p> <p>Mobile: 83%</p> <p>Tablet: 81%</p> <p>The world is moving to mobile devices. At YouTube over half of all views now come from mobile. And on mobile, devices across both web and app, YouTube exhibits an even higher viewability at 94%</p> <p>Why Ads Aren’t Viewable</p> <p>So what happens to the ads that are not viewable?</p> <p>Here's why ads don't meet the viewability criteria.</p> <p>76% of non-viewable ads were never on screen. They were in a background tab or not on the screen at all.</p> <p>24% of non-viewable ads were scrolled off-screen or abandoned in fewer than two seconds.</p> <p>Player Size Matters</p> <p>Amongst the most popular video ad players across the web, larger player sizes are more viewable.</p> <p>#2 most popular ad size by volume: 848 x 477, 89% viewability</p> <p>#1 most popular ad size by volume: 300 x 250, 20% viewability</p> <p>Location, Location, Location</p> <p>Page position correlates to higher viewability. The more prominent the position, the more viewable the ad.</p> <p>Horizontal Position:</p> <p>Centered is the most viewable</p> <p>Vertical Position:</p> <p>Top of page is the most viewable</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">See full research deck here</a>.</p>