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Ad quality trends up and blocking trends down according to new report

July 25, 2022 | By Mimi Wotring, SVP of Publisher Sales & Client Services – DoubleVerify @doubleverify

In today’s constantly changing digital advertising ecosystem, it’s critical to monitor trends across the industry. This is especially true when it comes to ad verification, with utilization being heavily impacted by specific issues important to various brands, verticals and geographies. Knowing how these trends are playing out gives teams an upper hand in strategic planning and conversations with buyers.

Every year, DoubleVerify analyzes trillions of impressions delivered across over 2,100 brands across 80 markets to provide publishers and advertisers with insights into key media quality and performance in our annual Global Insights Report. While the report includes extensive regional data, global benchmarks, vertical spotlights and more detailed analysis, here are some key trends for publishers to consider. 

Ad quality improves and blocking declines

As advertisers and agencies continue to refine their verification strategies, we saw reduced instances of blocking that can negatively impact publishers. Last year saw a 9% decrease in brand safety and suitability violations, with the overall violation rate continuing its trend downward from 11.7% in 2019 to 10% in 2021. Violation rates are defined as impressions that do not comply with a brand’s specific settings, but do not always indicate that a block occurs. Viewability rates have also continued to improve, led by video viewability increasing 4% year-over-year.

This steady improvement in ad quality shows how adoption of quality measurement affects the industry overall. This, combined with education that leads to more nuanced brand suitability settings from brands can help publishers monetize more of their inventory while also having a positive impact on campaign performance.

Fraud violations decline while schemes continue to be uncovered

Online ad fraud schemes are an ever-present threat. They adapt to new technology and trusted industry safeguards, such as ads.txt, or through device spoofing and other insidious attack vectors. The good news is that publishers are being impacted less, with overall fraud violations declined by 7% compared to the year before.

Unfortunately, signs indicate that fraudsters are more active than ever. DV saw a 70% spike in schemes uncovered in 2021 when compared to 2020, especially in video and CTV. Emerging channels with high demand are breeding grounds for bad actors. Verification vendors will need to continue to evolve as fraudsters attempt new forms of misrepresenting inventory and funneling ad spend away from legitimate publishers.

Attention looms as an advertiser focus

Advertisers are constantly searching for the best ways to improve the performance of their creatives, and attention metrics are an increasingly important way for them to do just that. Beyond viewability, attention metrics can capture that elusive moment where consumers are intrigued by a product or brand, motivated to engage, and ultimately, driven to convert. In a world where consumers see upwards of 10,000 ads per day, measuring attention can provide powerful insights into which ads are likely to perform.

For example, a global technology brand working with DV saw that high engagement impressions were 32% more likely to convert to sign-ups or sales relative to baseline impressions. Where a user’s attention is on the page can make a marked difference in ad performance.

Attention measurement informs buy-side and sell-side teams about key video and CTV metrics such as ad audibility, in-view rates, completion rates, fully on-screen rates and more. In 2021, DV saw Audible and In-view On Completion (AVOC) rates increase by 23% YoY across all devices, indicating improvements in how video advertising is seen by users. Clearly, the ability to monitor and optimize for attention metrics will be a differentiator in the space. The ability to sell segments of inventory based on attention metrics shows buyers that you have optimal ad performance in mind.

While not indicative of all verification vendors, publishers should look to understand how buyers are utilizing verification tools and how it may impact them. A lot has changed in ad verification since its inception, and publishers that consider the same quality and attention metrics that brands care about stand to benefit the most.

Access DoubleVerify's full Global Insights Report containing methodology, definitions and additional information here.
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