Ad verification, a tool or service used to validate the delivery of digital display advertising, is a critical line item in many media plans today. It has long been used to vet ad fraud and brand safety, but within the past year, has become a vital tool for assessing viewability—a growing mandate as the industry moves from ad-served to viewable impression standards—according to a new eMarketer report, “Ad Verification: From Post-Campaign Reporting to Real-Time Prevention.”
Study after study shows that viewability makes for significant ad spending waste. In a survey from Integral Ad Science, roughly half of US banner impressions served on advertising networks and exchanges in H2 2013 went unseen. Publisher-direct buys were more likely to yield higher in-view percentages, but by and large, the majority of ads bought never even reached a pair of eyeballs.
Although such data might suggest that site direct—typically a more reliable source of premium inventory—is likely to have higher viewability numbers, marketers should be careful not to conflate “premium” inventory sources with premium viewability numbers. For instance, video ads, which tend to be the most expensive premium of all display ads, can have just as poor viewability percentages as their banner counterparts.
For example, video ad management and ad-serving platform Vindico found that between September 2013 and December 2013, just 44% of ads served via its Adtricity platform were in-view. And January 2014 data from video advertising solutions provider TubeMogul showed even lower numbers for video ads shown on players smaller than 1,000 pixels.