New report: Ad fraud down due to advertisers’ demands for transparency
Video tech company Extreme Reach's report also says that advertisers are moving away from click-through metrics in favor of completion rates.
A new report shows that more than a year after advertisers such as Procter & Gamble’s Marc Pritchard started demanding better performance by video ad platforms, their efforts might be paying off.
Video tech company Extreme Reach’s 2017 Video Advertising Benchmark Report reveals that compared to 2016, filtered bot traffic (general invalid traffic, or GIVT) is down 31 percent on average and 40 percent for aggregators. The company attributes this drop directly to “increased pressure for better accountability from advertisers, as well as a corresponding increase in vigilance among ad tech vendors.”
The third quarter of 2017 did see a rise in GIVT, but the year ended with a significantly lower percentage of GIVT than in Q4 2016: 5.18 percent in Q4 2017 vs. 8.66 percent for Q4 2016, the report said. The report also found that outlier activity by high-frequency posters was the biggest reason campaigns were filtered for GITV in 2017.
We spoke with Dascha Bright, senior vice president of account management at Extreme Reach, who told MarTech Today exclusively:
The entire digital advertising ecosystem has stepped up the battle against ad fraud in the last couple of years. Especially following Marc Pritchard’s famous call to action, there’s been much more pressure placed on media companies by the brands that hold the purse strings. At the same time, tech providers throughout the stack are building innovative new solutions aimed at curbing the fraud threat. 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. We’re confident that the strong filters we’ve implemented for the video ads we serve are working, but we also know we have to keep up the fight, because the fraudsters are evolving their methods just as quickly as we’re developing ways to block them.
Completion rates vs. CTRs
The report’s other major conclusion is that click-through rates — which have long been the traditional metric of success for online ads — are being replaced by completion rates.
From the report:
Advertisers are focusing on attention over engagement: More advertisers shifted their focus in 2017 toward video ad completion and away from click-through (CTR) as a video ad campaign goal. Declines in CTR (-14.7 percent overall, -35.7 percent for premium) and increases in completion (up 7.7 percent overall and 14.1 percent for premium) are both signs that advertisers are likely focusing campaigns on sustained viewer attention instead of driving clicks away from the ad unit.
Extreme Reach concludes that viewability “has been rising since 2015, and we’ve reached a point where the pace of change is slowing. The consistency over 2016 and 2017 enables the numbers to serve as more reliable guidelines for assessing performance.
On average, across all variables, a viewable completion rate between two-thirds and three-quarters is the norm. For advertisers, this insight is helpful when judging their campaign success, with 66 percent qualifying as ‘good’ and 75 percent being ‘superior’ rates.”