Digital video ad viewability is on the up. According to Q4 2014 research by Integral Ad Science, the percentage of US online video ads that were in-view that quarter reached 39.0%, a 9-percentage-point quarter-over-quarter increase. These figures exclude mobile.
While video ads still trailed other options, this was the biggest increase in points. Display ads purchased from networks and exchanges also saw quarter-over-quarter growth in viewability, from 36.7% to 42.6%, which the study suggested signaled “heightened user attention and/or increased adoption of viewability optimization technology.” Meanwhile, the viewability rate for display ads bought directly from publishers fell slightly to 52.7%, from 53.4% in Q3. As viewability rates experienced a strong increase in Q4 2014, US video ad completion rates while in-view did, too, rising 6 percentage points from Q3 2014 to 26.0%.
Among lower completion levels, the differences weren’t huge: 30.7% in the first quartile, 28.8% at the midpoint and 27.5% for the third quartile. Unfortunately, an influx in user attention and ad demand comes with some issues, as well. Brand risk for video ads was up slightly between Q3 and Q4 2014, from 18.7% to 20.7%. Integral Ad Science reported an ad fraud rate of 10.6% for video. Along with brand safety, ad fraud and viewability have taken center stage among buyers this year, and they’re leading worries for video buyers. When an August 2014 study by Adap.tv asked US video buyers about their biggest concerns with video quality inventory, 62% of buyers cited ad viewability.
A close 60% pointed to ad fraud such as bots and ad stacking. eMarketer estimates that US digital video ad spending, which includes advertising that appears on desktop and laptop computers as well as mobile phones and tablets, will rise by 30.4% this year, following impressive growth of 56.0% in 2014. With total expenditure of $7.77 billion in 2015, the format will capture the second-largest share of display ad spending, at 13.3%. The rise of mobile video will help push video ad expenditures to more than double between 2014 and 2018, from $5.96 billion to $12.82 billion.