Non-Viewable Video Ads: 76% Are in Background Tabs or Off-Screen

For both video and display ads, viewability has become an important topic. Now that the Media Ratings Council (MRC) had released a standard for viewability—a video ad is considered viewable if half its pixels are on-screen for two seconds—publishers and advertisers are able to measure viewable impressions.

GoogleViewabilityGoogle has added some important research to the discussion with the release of “5 Factors of Video Viewability,” a helpful document that pulls together research on video ad placement to show why ads aren’t being seen and help solve the problem.

  • Why are some video ads not viewable? Google finds that 76 percent of non-viewable ads are either in a background tab or not on the screen at all. The remaining 24 percent were scrolled off the screen in under 2 seconds.
  • A video ad’s placement on the screen plays a big role in its viewability. Google finds that putting an ad in the center column of the page and the top of the page leads to the best viewability scores. Getting ads in the top center is the optimal way to go.
  • Video ads on mobile devices are far more viewable than ads on desktop computers. When Google looked at non-YouTube video ads on all three platforms, it found that desktop videos were 53 percent viewable, smartphone ads were 83 percent viewable, and tablet ads were 81 percent viewabile.

YouTube ends its study with recommendations for both advertisers and publishers. Advertisers should buy fewer 300×250 pixel ads and look for optimal page placement, while publishers should strive for a 54 percent viewability rating just to meet the online average.

View the full study online for free (no registration required). For brands that want to make sure their ads get seen—and that should be everyone—it’s full of helpful information.


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