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Ad viewability levels for display ads in the UK rose in Q2 2017, marking the first viewability increase in nine months, according to the latest quarterly figures from ad verification company Meetrics.
In the second quarter, the percentage of banner ads served in the UK that met minimum viewability guidelines rose to 51%, up from 47% the previous quarter. That was the first increase in display ad viewability measured by Meetrics since Q3 2016. It was also the first time since Q1 2016 that the viewability level exceeded 50%.
However, the UK’s viewability rate still trails those seen in Austria (69%), France (58%) and Germany (57%), the other three countries in Europe that Meetrics tracks.
The UK’s lagging ad viewability rates can be attributed to “a higher penetration of programmatic and automated ad buying, in which viewability levels tend be lower,” said Anant Joshi, Meetrics’ commercial director for the UK and Ireland. “Also, mobile tends to have lower viewability and it has a bigger share of the pie in the UK than other markets.”
Across Europe, Meetrics data showed programmatic ads had a lower viewability level than ads purchased directly in Q2 2017 (52% vs. 59%).
eMarketer estimates programmatic’s share of total UK digital ad spending will reach 76% this year, compared with rates of 73% in France and 54% in Germany. In addition, eMarketer forecasts that 63.2% of digital spending will be devoted to mobile in UK in 2017, more than in any other market in Europe tracked by eMarketer.
The rising viewability for UK digital ads reflects “the impact of ad viewability initiatives starting to [effect] the [UK] market, such as from JICwebs [Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards] and the like,” Joshi said. “Also, companies are getting better at identifying underperforming domains in terms of viewability and excluding them from the plan. In addition, publishers are starting to care more about getting viewability technology enabled on their sites to make ad quality adjustments.”
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