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ComScore Highlights Problems With Invalid Traffic and Viewability

The growth in online video advertising has made the area more attractive to scammers. Measurement specialist ComScore shines a spotlight on fraud-related problems in its 2016 Q1 Advertising Benchmarks report.

ComScoreViewabilityAd fraud is becoming more complex, ComScore finds, with 80 percent of global invalid traffic (IVT) rated as sophisticated. High-value video ads attract the most IVT. With their higher CMP rates, premium video ads let scammers get a bigger payoff. Consider that 6 percent of U.S. desktop display traffic comes from IVT, while 8 percent of U.S. desktop video is IVT.

Programmatic ad sales actually increase the problem with IVT. There's less transparency for video ads on programmatic exchanges, leading to IVT rates 4.5 times higher than with direct buys. In the U.S. desktop video market, 2 percent of direct sale traffic is IVT, while 9 percent of programmatic traffic is.

ComScore also looks at the continuing problem of video ad viewability. While the subject has gotten a lot of attention, there hasn't been a lot of progress. In the U.S., the viewability rate for desktop video ads is only 41 percent. (The rate for display ads is only slightly better at 48 percent.) That means 6 out of every 10 video ads have no chance of being seen, a dismal rate ComScore attributes to IVT on programmatic exchanges.

Buyers concerned with viewability should opt for direct sales, ComScore says. The viewability rate for direct is 62 percent for desktop video ads in the U.S. Compare that to only 38 percent for programmatic U.S. desktop video ads.

The report also looks at the use of ad blockers, and finds that young males are the most likely to use them. Men age 18 to 24 are 100 percent more likely to use ad blockers than the average U.S. user. Women the same age are 42 percent more likely.

Troy Dreier's article first appeared on OnlineVideo.net

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