H1 2020 Media Quality Report

10/06 By IAS team
MQR H1 2020

Australia Aces Programmatic Quality Impressions in APAC

SYDNEY, Australia, 6 Oct 2020: Today, Integral Ad Science (IAS), the global leader in digital ad verification, released the Media Quality Report for H1 2020 providing insights into the quality of media in 15 countries around the world. IAS measures over 1 trillion media metrics each day, globally and observes real-time media quality developments. IAS has been leveraging this vast database spanning devices, formats, and channels worldwide to produce the Media Quality Report- an industry trusted currency- on brand risk, fraud, viewability, time-in-view against which the ad buyers and sellers may benchmark the quality of their own campaigns and inventory.

Australia has shown consistency, once again coming out as one of the strongest performing countries for advertising media quality benchmarks in H1 2020. Advertisers have prioritised quality impressions and have seen gains in media quality metrics from investing in programmatic inventory. 

Australia Ranks First Globally in Mobile Web Display Viewability 

In H1 2020 Australia ranked first globally in mobile web display viewability at 72.6% up from 64.5% in H1 2019. New Zealand posted 67.6% mobile web display viewability in H1 2020, up from 53.2% in H1 2019, achieving double-digit year-on-year improvements of 14.4 percentage points. Programmatic inventory remains a key driver for viewability.

Australia’s impressive viewability trend in H1 2020 continued in desktop display too, with viewability at 73.1%, securing second place globally, while New Zealand was at 69.6%, slightly behind the worldwide average of 71.9%. Video continues to be the most viewable format around the globe, with viewability rates for desktop and mobile web averaging 75.2% and 73.6% respectively in H1 2020. Australia’s viewability on desktop video in H1 2020 was 77% and for mobile web video was 70.3%.

Viewability on mobile app environments has also benefited from increased adoption of the IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement SDK, a common code, and libraries for facilitating third-party access to measurement data. 

Publishers and their tech providers are catching up with the demand for higher standards for programmatic inventory from the buy side. Programmatic has narrowed the viewability gap across formats and devices, and significantly outperformed direct buys for desktop display and mobile web display environments in Australia and New Zealand.

Australian Ads Achieve Highest Time-in-View in Mobile App Display, Globally

In H1 2020, Australia recorded the highest time-in-view of 27.95s on mobile app display, with the worldwide average at 24.24s and New Zealand reporting 21.70s. Average time-in-view worldwide was highest for mobile app display, rising 4.0 seconds year-on-year to reach 24.24 seconds in H1 2020. The reason for uptick in time-in-view for in-app could be due to the sticky nature of the ads, which are displayed throughout the length of the consumer engagement. 

Australia continued its winning spree and came in second for time-in-view on mobile web display ads at 18.56s in H1 2020, with New Zealand posting 12.98s, behind the global average of 15.71s. The H1 2020, time-in-view for desktop display in Australia was 24.28s with worldwide average being 23.14s. Australia leads the way in exposure time measurement, publishers are now actively allowing advertisers to buy based on exposure time and are delivering relevant engaging content and online experiences to positively impact exposure time.

Lower Ad Fraud Levels in Australia Prove the Value of Ad Fraud Mitigation Tools

Global ad fraud rates remained exceptionally low when campaigns were protected against invalid traffic schemes. In H1 2020, *optimised ad fraud rates dropped between 0.1 and 0.3 percentage points across all devices and environments as compared to H1 2019 and this could be attributed to the use of pre bid filters- a targeting segment in DSPs that ensures the DSP does not bid on fraudulent impressions. 

Australia reported marginal ad fraud rate improvements in desktop display, desktop video and mobile web video, remaining unchanged in mobile web display, overall posting lower optimised ad fraud rates in H1 2020 as compared to H1 2019. On desktop display Australia posted 1.1% ad fraud (optimised) down from 1.5% in H1 2019. New Zealand’s desktop display ad fraud numbers in H1 2020 remained unchanged at 0.4% year-on-year. 

Marketers using machine-learning-driven anti-fraud technology and the falling fraud rates prove that mitigation strategies pay off. Marketers must continue to optimise against fraud to protect their ad spends and drive efficiencies. 

Global *non-optimised ad fraud rates ranged between 6.9% and 13.2% in H1 2020, depending on the format and environment. Campaigns for which optimisation tools and strategies were not present tended to encounter levels of fraud up to 25x higher than those optimised against ad fraud. 

*Optmised- Campaigns that incorporate a form of ad fraud mitigation strategy.

*Non-optimised- Campaigns that did not incorporate a form of ad fraud mitigation strategy.

Australia Reported Lowest Brand Risk Levels Worldwide on Mobile Web Display, Desktop Video and Mobile Web Video

Advertisers have prioritised brand reputation and risk mitigation during a time when hate speech and misinformation have come to the forefront, ensuring that their advertising does not inadvertently appear next to hateful content or fund misinformation. From H1 2019 to H1 2020, the global brand risk average — the portion of pages scored by IAS as medium or high risk — dropped across all environments and formats.

Australia had notable reductions in total brand risk for video impressions — both desktop (5.0% in H1 2019 to 1.9% in H1 2020) and mobile web (4.8% in H1 2019 to 1.9% in H1 2020) as more advertisers are applying brand risk measures to avoid investing in risk. In mobile web display, Australia reported the lowest risk at 2.2%, with the average global brand risk sitting at 4.7%

“Australia stood out as one of the strongest programmatic media quality markets in the world. Advertisers and publishers in Australia have worked hard to invest in quality impressions and the report results highlights that. The positive results reflect the industry-wide collaborative efforts as well as the impact of adoption of IAS technologies. New Zealand too showed improvements in the majority of the media quality metrics measured in H1 2020. Now that verification has become table stakes in Australia and New Zealand, with the negative value reduced, I encourage advertisers to ensure they are using quality impressions to create greater brand impact”, said Jessica Miles, Country Manager, ANZ at Integral Ad Science. “The industry can’t become complacent – brand suitability is always evolving for marketers, and this requires constant vigilance to deliver precision for individual suitability thresholds. With cookies deprecating, to reach consumers in the right place, at the right time, with the right message, an additional focus is needed to ensure context control strategies – more so during the upcoming holiday shopping season”.