Study: Mobile ad growth contributes to viewability decline
- A new report from ad verification company Meetrics states that the percentage of banner ads meeting minimum viewability guidelines dropped to 47% in Q1, the lowest level in nine months, according to Marketing Week.
- The Meetrics research estimates that poor viewability means British marketers are wasting around $965 million (750 million pounds) per year on non-viewable ads.
- In comparison, 55% of banner ads are viewable in Germany, 60% in France and 67% in Austria. However, veiwability dropped three percentage points in Germany — to an all-time low — and one percentage point in Austria. In France, viewability is up three points.
The findings underscore how, as budgets for mobile advertising increase, advertisers and platforms need to do a better job of accounting for the different user experience on mobile and how this might affect viewability.
One factor influencing viewability on mobile is that more scrolling takes place compared to desktop because of the smaller screen size. This means ads at the bottom of a page can be easily missed, a problem that is likely growing worse as more content is consumed on mobile.
Slow mobile network connections can cause ad loading delays and negatively impact viewability. This problem is compounded if ads aren't optimized to perform well on mobile. Some ads still do not format properly on mobile even with the use of responsive design, per Meetrics.
While viewability is particularly pronounced as an issue in the U.K., Meetrics points out that marketers across all markets are still not putting in the effort to increase viewability and improve ROI.
The news comes at a time when interest in viewability has reached new heights amid some broader industry handwringing over quality and transparency in the digital media landscape in the wake of comments earlier this year from P&G's Marc Pritchard about a broken media supply chain.
Platforms are starting to address these concerns through partnerships with third-party verification services. Snapchat, for example, is reportedly supplying select advertisers with a viewability score for Snap Ads.
Google is allowing bigger ads above the fold on mobile in another attempt to drive viewability. The Google example highlights one of the challenges in increasing viewability on mobile, which is the need to balance annoying users via intrusive experiences with ensuring paying advertisers' messaging gets noticed.
The verdict is still out on how effective these efforts will be.