The latest media quality findings for H2 2019

04/02 By IAS team

Media quality benchmark for brand risk, viewability and ad fraud

Integral Ad Science (IAS) has released its Media Quality Report (MQR) for the second 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.

Key findings for the UK, were:

Viewability saw a positive increase across the UK, particularly for mobile. UK viewability consistently surpassed global benchmarks and built on improvements made last year. With more buyers transacting on viewability, the quality of the impressions,  as well as increase in viewability rates, is likely to improve. The wide adoption of the OMSDK may also be benefiting these improved figures, with more mobile in-app impressions measured and accounted for.

  • Viewability of mobile web video inventory hit an impressive 70.7% in H2 2019, exceeding the 70% in-view benchmark that desktop impressions achieved in H1 2019
  • Mobile web display ads reached a UK benchmark nearing three-quarters (68.3%) 
  • Mobile app display increased nearly a quarter (23.6 percentage points) year-on-year, to 68.7% of ads in view
  • The UK’s time-in-view benchmark for mobile app display surpassed the global average to hit 25.47 seconds
  • The only viewability which was lower than the global average of 15.51 seconds, was mobile web display, at 14.84 seconds

Brand risk continues to decrease, especially for video. The UK remained near the top of the global rankings for the majority of brand risk areas in H2 2019. This continued improvement for risk levels in the UK may be down to the increased use of verification technology and the use of pre-bid filters, helping to reduce risk. 

  • The UK saw the highest improvement in brand risk for desktop video – an average of 6.4% of total ads were found to appear next to unsafe content, compared to 11.9% in H2 2018
  • The UK cemented itself as the second-most brand safe environment in the world for mobile web display
  • The UK was the third safest country for desktop display, with only 2.6% of ads found next to unsafe content

UK ad fraud falls below global average, particularly across desktop. Generally brand risk in the UK remained steady, with advertisers last year continuing to prioritise ensuring their media investment is not handed to fraudsters and instead, their ads are seen by real people, not bots.

  • The UK’s ad fraud risk sits well below the global average of 1.1% for desktop display, decreasing by 0.3 percentage points to reach 0.7%
  • Desktop video ad fraud also reduced below the global benchmark of 0.9% lowering by 0.4 percentage points since H2 2018, to reach 0.7%, too
  • Mobile web video managed to stay steady at only 0.5% of inventory flagged as fraudulent

What’s next?

The latest media quality data indicates a consistent decline in brand risk, improvement in viewability levels and ad fraud rates continuing to fall below the global average. This is great news for the UK’s digital ecosystem – but how can we keep it up? To continue this positive move forward, the industry must take further steps to ensure risk lowers and opportunity increases, including:

  • Move towards mobile – Advertisers are making mobile viewability a priority as they mirror the shift of consumer behaviour towards increased mobile use. The industry must continue this vigilance when it comes to verification
  • Fight against fraud in 2020 – consider increasing focus on ad fraud measurement, to ensure resources can address any issues. And don’t forget to refer to our updated Ad Fraud Guide for the latest in tips and tricks 
  • Keep on collaborating – 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

Make sure to download the latest MQR report to explore the findings in full.

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