Top Learnings from the comScore Advertising Benchmarks Report – 2016

ComScore recently published a report that highlights the advertising benchmarks for the year 2016. As a leading global cross-platform measurement company that accurately assesses audiences, brands, and consumers, comScore has analyzed and published a report on how ad blocking, invalid traffic, and viewability of ads are impacting delivery of advertisements across the globe. The report also lists what the concerned industries can do to tackle these challenges. The following is a brief summary on the key learning from the report.

The digital marketing industry, particularly the digital advertising industry, has experienced constant and powerful growth that has not show any signs of decline, so far. However, in order to continue its global rise, the industry needs to guarantee clean ad delivery, i.e. ads should be viewable to the consumers, and it should be free from fraud. Nevertheless, an ad that is not seen by consumers cannot have any impact.

Based on research and data mining, the comScore report enlightens us with some key learning across the following three extensive categories.

1. The growing global phenomenon of ad blocking


Young users aged 18-24 are more likely to block desktop ads than any other average user. In fact, young males are 100% more likely and young females are 42% more likely to block ads in comparison with other users from the US. Moreover, users from higher income segments block ads more than average users.

How to resolve this:

The sole way to resolve this issue is to refocus on user experience. These statistics are a wake-up call for all the digital advertisers to improve their ad quality in terms of content as well as user experience. Seeking less invasive options, with or without advertising, can also be a good alternative.


2. The rise in sophisticated ad fraud


In December 2015, almost 80% of the global invalid traffic (IVT) was sophisticated. Additionally, ads that have less transparency like video ads on programmatic exchanges are almost 4.5 times more prone to IVT than its direct counterparts. In general, with wider CPMs, videos give a higher chance for IVT than display ads.

How to resolve this:

Sophisticated IVT requires advanced analytics to detect. Therefore, it is very crucial to protect websites and all ad campaigns using latest methods like comScore Triple Detection Technology, which goes beyond the standard filtration. This sophisticated IVT detection tool uses three key data assets, viz. ad tags, census page tags and a panel of humans. Detection methods like these not only measures invalid traffic, but also provides more protection. If sophisticated IVT detection methods are not in place, the whole advertising processes might go into waste.


3. 50% of the ads worldwide are still not seen


According to this comScore global report, more than half of ads worldwide still don’t have the opportunity to be seen. The desktop display viewability ranges from 39%-50% across all markets. Video viewability is even lesser; this is due to IVT on programmatic video exchanges. According to research, direct buys see higher viewability than their programmatic counterparts.

How to resolve this:

For better viewability and impact, one needs to improve delivery. Invalid traffic together with low viewability can create mayhem in any campaign. Therefore, when the performance of a campaign is evaluated only by using ads that have an opportunity to make an impression, advertising can be made two times more efficient. This will help publishers prove the worth of their advertising and marketers measure the true return on investment (ROI).


To summarize, ad blocking, invalid traffic (IVT), and low viewability are the three key challenges in digital advertising. However, by taking the above mentioned steps, clean campaign impressions and potent results can be guaranteed.

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