This month, Integral Ad Science (IAS) released its Media Quality Report (MQR) for the first half of 2019. After measuring over 1 trillion media metrics each day, we analyse the data to provide transparency into the performance and quality of UK digital media, alongside global comparisons. In leveraging this vast dataset spanning devices, formats and buying channels, we are able to create an industry barometer with which ad buyers and sellers can benchmark the quality of their campaigns and inventory.
Findings from our H1 2019 MQR highlight a largely positive story for the UK, with high viewability results, a decrease in brand risk and progress for mobile. The data also highlighted areas for the industry to focus on, moving forward.
Key UK findings from H1 2019 Media Quality Report:
- UK Viewability hit the highest point ever. For the first time, desktop display viewability exceeded 70% during H1 2019. UK impressions hit 70.9% viewability – an increase of 7.5 percentage points year-on-year. Canada edged ahead to take top place at 73.6%. Impressively, global viewability averages surpassed 60% across all formats, reflecting a worldwide commitment to increase quality following advertiser demands.
- Mobile app engagement was strongest in the UK, driving the highest in-view duration at 22.52 seconds, showing that UK consumers are engaging most with mobile apps. However, UK desktop display ads hit 21.67 seconds in duration, slightly below the global average of 23.53 seconds.
- Brand risk continues to decrease, with 1.7 percentage point drop from 4.5% to 2.8% for desktop display. This places the UK in a healthy third place in the global risk rankings (with Italy coming top at 1.9%) and well below the global average of 4.7% of ads found next to unsuitable content. For video, almost one in ten (9.8%) UK video ad impressions appeared next to inappropriate content during the first half of 2019.
- Ad fraud in the UK remains lower than the global average, however, levels increased by 0.2 percentage points year-on-year, up to 0.9%. Despite the increase, the UK sees less fraud compared to the global average of 1.1%, possibly due to greater awareness within our digital advertising market. The safest harbour from ad fraud is New Zealand, with only a 0.4% risk.
Summary and next steps:
Our MQR data indicates a consistent decline in brand risk for the UK, with viewability levels continuing to rise and ad fraud rates below the global average. When comparing to other markets, the UK consistently appears in the top rankings, showcasing the current high quality of UK digital advertising.
To continue this positive move forward, the industry must take further steps to ensure risk lowers and opportunity increases, including:
- Being vigilant ahead of the Christmas season – as we head into Q4, advertisers must be alert as fraudsters chase increased ad spend during the lucrative holiday shopping period. Consider increasing focus on your ad fraud measurement, to ensure resources can address any issues.
- Be conscious of increased brand risk accompanying video ads – advertisers should work with a brand safety vendor to monitor and block risky content to protect video spend. Regular analysis of video data will ensure the most effective media is targeted, enabling advertisers to optimise their media buy.
- Keep on collaborating – the incredible improvement in display and video viewability is proof – when the industry communicates its challenges, and works together to resolve them, change is possible. The ecosystem as a whole must continue to communicate their challenges if all corners of the industry are to move forward.
It’s thanks to this level of granular and global insight that brands can protect their advertising investments in a fragmented ecosystem and ensure they drive the greatest return.
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