H1 2019 Media Quality Report

09/04 By Osbaldo Franco

Insights with global scale

Measuring over 1 trillion media metrics each day globally, Integral Ad Science is able to observe media quality developments as they occur in real-time. Leveraging this vast database spanning devices, formats and channels worldwide, the Media Quality Report offers an industry barometer against which ad buyers and sellers may benchmark the quality of their own campaigns and inventory.

Findings from our H1 2019 Media Quality Report (MQR) highlight gains in viewability across all formats and environments as well as brand risk reductions around the world. The report also shows positive developments in the enduring battle against ad fraud, with fraudsters increasingly being locked away from high value inventory such as video.

Viewability rises above 60% across devices and formats

Global viewability rates stood above 60% across all formats and environments in H1 2019. While desktop video achieved the highest viewability average worldwide at 71.9%, mobile app display ads improved the most in absolute terms, with viewability rates rising nearly 9 percentage points year-over-year to reach 62.3% in H1 2019.

At the country level, Italy registered the highest viewability rates of any type, as 80.4% of mobile web video impressions remained in view for at least 2 seconds while half or more of the player was in view during H1 2019.

Viewability improvements across geographies, devices and formats were driven by rising programmatic viewability rates. Publisher direct viewability also trended upwards and remained above programmatic for valuable video impressions across devices. But as digital ad spending continues its inexorable shift toward automation, programmatic will likely remain a driver of media quality improvement in the foreseeable future.

Safer digital advertising ecosystem in H1 2019

Average brand risk around the world dropped by roughly one percentage point across nearly all devices and formats in H1 2019, with mobile web video the only environment with a flat brand risk trajectory compared to the same period a year prior.

Multiple factors combined to bring global brand risk down in H1 2019. In the US, brand risk declined most on publisher direct transactions across all devices and formats, while shrinking programmatic brand risk drove the improvement in the UK. Mobile web display ads in Japan registered the steepest brand risk reduction of any market – driven by dwindling threats from the adult and offensive language categories – dropping by nearly half year-on-year to reach 6.5% in H1 2019.

Italy meanwhile remained the safest market for brands, including a 1.9% brand risk average for desktop display ad impressions, the lowest of any device and format combination worldwide in H1 2019.

Digital video ad fraud sinks below 1% on desktops

High value inventory such as video is constantly targeted by fraudsters. These bad actors continuously attempt to circumvent industry protections against invalid traffic, domain spoofing, reselling of unauthorized inventory and more, often targeting programmatic transactions.

Progress is being made in the fight against fraud this year. Steep reductions in optimized-against-ad-fraud rates for desktop video in the US, UK and Italy drove the worldwide average in the category below 1.0% in H1 2019. Moreover, the key driver behind the improvement in these three markets were lower fraud rates in programmatic, limiting the value and scope of fraud schemes around the globe.

Increasingly locked out of valuable digital video inventory, deceitful activity shifted back to inventory with typically lower CPM. Overall display fraud inched up slightly between H1 2018 and H1 2019, with desktop display fraud rates in Japan and Australia rising the most while dropping slightly in Italy. Advertisers in New Zealand are the least likely to come across fraudulent inventory, with 0.4% of desktop display and 0.3% of mobile web display found to be invalid traffic in H1 2019.

Download the full H1 2019 report for the global viewability, time-in-view, ad fraud and brand safety benchmarks. Check back in a few months for the full year 2019 Media Quality Report, and in the meantime.

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Download H1 2019 MQR