UK Programmatic is hot on the heels of publisher direct

09/25 By IAS Insider

Our H1 2017 Media Quality Report helps you invest in digital with greater confidence by illustrating the state of online inventory today, for both display and video ads, across desktop and mobile. To provide this report, we analysed data, across nearly 300 billion global impressions, from advertising campaigns that ran between 1st January and 30th June 2017. With this information, you are better equipped to navigate the digital landscape, confirm your current investments, and uncover new opportunities to activate consumers.

For the H1 2017 report, we introduced new updates to provide greater insights into media quality around the globe, with additional data for Japan, Spain, Italy, Brazil, and Singapore. The report also now includes mobile data for both mobile web and in-app, and video data for the UK market. Furthermore, ad fraud data has been updated to give a greater picture of its potential impact. Ad fraud is now separated into optimised (data from campaign impressions where use of ad fraud prevention technology was present) and non-optimised (data from campaign impressions where no ad fraud prevention technology was employed).

Overall, the range for ad fraud has increased slightly from H2 2016 0.3% – 4.9, to 0.5% – 7.4% in H1 20017. Ad fraud continually evolves as a threat with new browser versions, new botnets, and new criminal schemes. These new threats will always impact the levels of ad fraud across markets. Ad fraud for programmatic has increased slightly from 0.6% – 4.9% in H2 2016, to 0.5% – 7.7%. In line with programmatic, the levels of ad fraud have also increased for publisher direct from 0.2% – 1.0% in H2 2016, to 0.6% – 3.1%. Although the levels of fraud are higher in programmatic than they are for publisher direct, the automated nature of programmatic advertising can actually makes it easier to filter fraud than through direct transactions.

Brand safety risk for both programmatic and publisher has decreased from 6.8% overall for H2 2016 to 3.7%. Programmatic decreased from 6.9% in H2 2016 to 3.8%, with publisher decreasing from 5.8% to 2.2% in H1 2017. Brand safety has been at the forefront of marketer’s minds and in the press this year, and with the rise of fake news it looks set to remain that way for the foreseeable future. The decrease in brand safety from H2 2016 to H1 2017 may be due to the increased media coverage around brand safety, leading brands to take action to protect their reputation and advertising budget.

Viewability has stayed in line with the results from H2 2016, with viewability now standing at 48% for H1 2017. Unsurprisingly, publisher direct has a higher level of viewability with 64.2%, in comparison to 48% for programmatic. The viewability for publisher direct is likely higher due to the continued work taking place across many publisher sites to remove formats that receive low viewability rates and the reduction of the number of ads on a page.

The findings from our H1 2017 Media Quality Report further highlight that with industry attention and proactive measures, improvements in brand safety can be made. Whilst ad fraud may have increased slightly, fraud is an arms race that is constantly evolving and changing, so fluctuation in fraud levels is to be expected. Brand safety, ad fraud and viewability should form part of a holistic view of buying and selling media to identify and reduce wastage, thereby ensuring the most efficient media plan. We would encourage all to do their part and work with measurement and analytics companies to gain greater insight and true transparency into digital advertising performance.

For more information download our H1 2017 Media Quality Report.