While report after report has shown viewability rates for video ads aren’t budging, finally some good news: According to the 2016 H2 Media Quality Report from advertising technology company Integral Ad Science (IAS), video viewability rates grew from 40.0 percent in H1 2016 to 58.2 percent by the end of the year. IAS derived its numbers from 6 billion direct and programmatic ad impressions.
That high viewability rate means video ads are actually beating display. IAS is using the MRC standard viewability definition, where a video ad is considered viewable it 50 percent of its pixels are on screen for 2 seconds. Publisher direct-sold video ads have a viewability rate of 76.6 percent, while programmatic video ads are at 49.6 percent.
Only seeing 2 seconds of an ad doesn’t do much good, so IAS also studied how many consumers completed video ads. The average completion rate was 35.1 percent, while publisher direct ads had a rate of 53.1 percent and programmatic ads had a rate of 29.9 percent.
Not everything is golden for video ads, however: The medium’s high CPMs make it an attractive area for fraud. IAS notes that 26.5 percent of programmatic video traffic is fraudulent. For display, the number is 22.7 percent.
For most video campaigns, 60 to 80 percent of consumers are served only 1 or 2 impressions, and 70 to 85 percent are served no more than 1 viewable impression. Also, 50 to 60 percent of consumers are exposed to those ads for 5 seconds or less.
“Video viewability has improved to the point of outperforming display, and that’s great news. Still, the scarcity and higher cost of video inventory makes it more susceptible to ad fraud,” the report notes. “It’s important to protect your media investments for a better chance to influence consumers.”
For more results from IAS, download the full 2016 H2 Media Quality Report  for free (registration required).