When the entire video advertising ecosystem pushes on an issue, it can get results. Brand advertising platform Extreme Reach released its benchmark report for Q4 2017, and it finds the video ad fraud rate declining. Filtered bot traffic is down an average of 31 percent year-over-year to 6.2 percent, and down 40 percent to 10.5 percent for aggregators. Rather than seeing one single cause, Extreme Reach says this was the result of multiple factors, such as advertisers demanding better accountability and ad tech vendors being more attentive.
“Fraud is a big challenge for our industry, and—perhaps catalyzed by Marc Pritchard’s call-to-action last year—we’re seeing an upsurge in pressure exerted on media companies by advertisers, as well as new approaches to beating it from the tech side,” says Mary Vestewig, Extreme Reach’s senior director, account management, video: “The decrease in invalid (e.g., non-human) traffic gives us great hope that the strong filtration processes we’ve implemented for the video ads served through our platform is enabling us to be smarter than the bots. Looking at our data over three full years we can say with certainty that the rate of invalid traffic we filtered out from our clients’ campaigns is down by 30 percent and we are hopeful that this trend will continue. Still, we can’t become complacent, because we know the fraudsters evolve their methods just as fast as we do ours.”
The numbers for basic viewability aren’t quite as positive as the video ad fraud rate. Using the lowest standard for viewability (50 percent of a video ad needs to be in view for at least 2 consecutive seconds), the report sees viewability dropping 3.2 percent year-over-year to 61 percent. The average video completion rate rose 4.4 percent year-over-year to 70 percent, while the average viewable completion rate dropped 6.7 percent year-over-year to 70 percent. Extreme Reach doesn’t see any of this as a negative, but as a plateauing—a sign that the industry is finding its base. A video completion rate between 66 and 75 percent is the norm, it says, and anything over 75 is exceptional.
Looking at media types, the report sees premium inventory having a far better viewability rate (73 percent in Q4) than video from a media aggregator (58 percent in Q4). Also, 30-second ads have better viewability rates than 15-second ads.
Finally, click-through rates were down sharply, showing a 38.2 percent year-over-year decline. In Q4, desktops had the strongest CTR with 0.28 percent, followed by phones with 0.24 percent and tablets with 0.22 percent.
For more on the video ad fraud rate and other key performance indicators, look to Extreme Reach’s Q4 2017 Video Benchmarks available for free online (no registration required).