UK Ad Viewability: Just One Piece of the Performance Measurement Puzzle - eMarketer
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UK Ad Viewability: Just One Piece of the Performance Measurement Puzzle

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: April 19, 2016

Jump to: Executive Summary | Table of Contents | List of Charts

Executive Summary

UK advertisers pour billions into digital ad investment annually. Yet, thanks to digital advertising’s inherent measurability, data shows the proportion of ads being seen by people in the UK is still surprisingly low. Whether that’s good or bad is up for debate—increasingly sophisticated performance metrics have made viewability just one of several measures upon which to judge an ad’s ultimate effectiveness.

  • According to one estimate, only half of digital display ads in the UK are seen—one of the poorest rates in Western Europe. At that rate, £1.8 billion ($2.75 billion) of the UK’s digital display ad spending—half of the total eMarketer predicts will be spent on digital display advertising this year—is essentially for naught.
  • One reason for such a low rate may be the prevalence of programmatic trading in the UK, which is at an advanced stage—it will account for 70% of all UK digital display ad spending this year, eMarketer predicts. Viewability has been a key concern for marketers moving toward programmatic trading, but such concerns will be assuaged as private marketplace deals and programmatic direct trading come to the fore.
  • When it comes to the best-performing digital ad formats and placements, there are few surprises. Rich media ads and large ads both garner high viewability rates in the UK, and placement “above the fold” remains highly sought after.
  • Underpinning all viewability considerations, though, is the concept that as a standalone metric, viewability isn’t all that valuable. While advertisers do want their ads to be seen, far greater benefits are to be had when consumers engage with an ad. In-view time, for example, is one additional metric that will boost a campaign’s effectiveness. Ad fraud is another vital consideration, because it fuels advertisers’ concerns that their ads are being seen by bots, not people.

"Getting an ad seen is far less important than having consumers engage with it. For video ads, a campaign objective is more likely to concentrate on maximizing the viewthrough rate than achieving the basic measure of viewability."

Table of Contents

The Importance of Viewability

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Viewability by Numbers

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15 charts are included in the full report:

UK Ad Viewability: Just One Piece of the Performance Measurement Puzzle

Campaign Objectives of UK Digital Video Ads, Q4 2015 (% of total campaigns served by Videology)

The Importance of Viewability

UK Total Media Ad Spending Share, by Media, 2014-2020 (% of total)

In Isolation, an Intermediate Measurement Metric

Metrics Used by UK and US Agency/Brand Professionals to Measure the Success of Content Marketing vs. Native Advertising Campaigns, April 2015 (% of respondents)

Expected Change* in the Importance of Select Performance Metrics According to UK Marketers, July 2015 (% of respondents)

More Important as Part of a Rounded View

Campaign Objectives of UK Digital Video Ads, Q4 2015 (% of total campaigns served by Videology)

Viewability by Numbers

Viewability Rate for Digital Display Ads in Select Countries in Western Europe, Q1-Q4 2015

Performance Metrics for Standard Banner Display Ads in Select Countries, H1 2015

The Programmatic Problem?

UK Programmatic Digital Display Ad Spending, 2013-2016 (billions of £, % change and % of total digital display ad spending*)

Leading Obstacles to Programmatic Advertising Usage According to Digital Marketers in North America and the UK, May 2015 (% of respondents)

Ways in Which UK and US Senior Marketers Measure the Success of Their Programmatic Ad Campaigns, April 2015 (% of respondents)

Viewability Rate for UK Digital Video Ads, by Transaction Method, Q4 2015

Performance Across Formats, Placements and Devices

Performance Metrics for Rich Media Display Ads in Select Countries, H1 2015

Viewability Rate* and In-View Time for UK Digital Display Ads, by Ad Format, Q1-Q4 2015

Performance Metrics for Mobile Display Ads in Select Countries, H1 2015

Viewability and Engagement Metrics for Mobile Display Ads Worldwide*, by Ad Size and Purchase Method, Q4 2015