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Mobile Beats Desktop for Ad Viewability

HTML5 banners perform best on mobile

Mobile display ads are generally more viewable than those served on desktop, based on data released earlier this month by Sizmek.

Viewability Rate for Mobile vs. Desktop Display Ads Worldwide, by Format, 2014 (% of measurable impressions served by Sizmek)

The study looked at measurable impressions served worldwide by Sizmek in 2014 and found that ad placements sized for mobile were more viewable than desktop-specific creative for almost all display ad formats. HTML5 standard banner viewability was especially strong on mobile, at 79.3% on average, vs. 48.4% for desktop. Rates hovered around 70% for HTML5 rich media and Flash standard banners on mobile, compared with about 50% on desktop. Flash rich media ads were the only exception, with desktop leading in average viewability rate by about 30 percentage points.

Mobile-specific display ads were more viewable than desktop ads worldwide whether purchased directly through publishers or programmatically. Viewability rates for mobile publisher direct ads were 74.1%, vs. 54.4% on desktop. Programmatic placements on mobile saw average viewability of 81.4%, while desktop came in at just 39.7%.

eMarketer estimates that US digital ad spending will reach $58.61 billion this year, and mobile will account for just under half of that total, at $28.72 billion. By 2019, mobile will take in nearly three-quarters of digital ad dollars.

However, the industry remains skeptical about viewability as a whole. In a December 2014 study by The 614 Group and AdMonsters, two-thirds of US digital advertising, marketing and media executives did not believe that the majority of digital publishers would reach high viewability standards by the end of 2015.

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