What you need to know about the state of video ad viewability in 2017

Rany Ng / September 2017

For video ads to make an impact, it’s critical that they’re seen—not just served.

In 2017, YouTube ad viewability continued to lead the industry. The average viewability of YouTube ads globally increased to 95% in 2017, up from 93% in 2016. Across the rest of the web and apps, average video ad viewability is 66%. For all video ads, mobile and tablet continue to offer the highest viewability rates. However, video ad viewability rates remain inconsistent across countries.

2017 Video Ad Viewability


Viewability is a key currency in digital advertising that measures whether or not an ad had a chance to be seen by a user. At Google, we support the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Media Rating Council (MRC) definition of viewability for video advertising: a minimum of 50% of the ad is in view for a minimum of two continuous seconds. For example, if a video ad is playing but the user is browsing on another tab, that impression wouldn’t be considered viewable.

We conducted research using our Active View measurement technology to better understand the current state of video ad viewability around the world. The data used in this study is based on video ads from our advertising platforms, including Google, DoubleClick, and YouTube, from May 2017.

We analyzed video viewability data for YouTube, including video ads in browsers (desktop, mobile, and tablet) and in the YouTube mobile app. We also looked at video viewability data for the rest of the web and apps (not YouTube), including video ads in browsers and apps.


The big picture: Optimising ad spend to reach audiences that matter