Programmatic buying surge blamed for drop in UK ad viewability

A surge in programmatic ad buying has triggered a dramatic drop in online ad viewability, according to the latest findings from ad verification company Meetrics.

Programmatic buying surge blamed for drop in UK ad viewability

UK ad viewability hit its lowest level in 18 months to 47% in the second quarter of 2016, falling from 54% in the first quarter.

The previous report by Meetrics said 54% was the highest level of ad viewability that the UK had recorded in 18 months, but 47% makes it the lowest level of viewability for 18 months.

It means the UK now lags further behind other European countries for viewability levels, with Austria performing best at 69%, followed by France at 62% and Germany at 60%.

Anant Joshi, director of international business at Meetrics, explained that viewability in the UK is more volatile than other European markets due to a higher penetration of programmatic and automated ad buying. 

"The surge in ads bought programmatically contributed to the decline in viewability, which was compounded by publishers upping the speed at which ads are re-loaded or auto-refreshed to raise inventory levels and revenue." Joshi said. "Around 20% of ads weren’t viewable because they weren’t in the frame for long enough – the highest rate we’ve seen due to this reason for some time." 

Based on the IAB and PwC’s latest adspend figures, Joshi has estimated that 53% of banner ads not being viewable in the UK is worth about £700m being wasted annually by advertisers.

An ad is considered viewable by Meetrics if it meets the IAB and Media Ratings Council’s recommendation that 50% of it is in view for at least one second. 


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