New data from Integral Ad Science finds that only 53% of display ads in the U.S. met the industry's viewability standards and only 58% of video ads met the industry's viewability standards (below).

Why it matters: Per the study, even if ads do meet viewability standards, digital ad effectiveness in the U.S. still has a long way to go. Only 51% of consumers say they looked at a viewable ad and only 17% say they recalled it. This, combined with an increase in ad-blocking, points to signs that the digital ad landscape needs to continually adjust to consumer preferences and updates in technology.

The good news: New "predictive targeting" tools through programmatic have given advertisers the ability to regain quality control by placing their ads through whitelists in places they are more likely to be loaded and viewed by real people (not bots). For video, the transition from Flash to HTML5 is also helping to weed out unviewable ads.

The U.S. ranks middle of the pack: Per the study, the U.S. digital ad market isn't the worst when it comes to uploading viewability standards, but it's not the best either:

UK: 49.9%France: 50.5%Australia: 51.9%United States: 53.0%Canada: 58.9%Germany: 57.8%

The standards aren't crazy high: The standards are based on recommendations from the media's de facto watchdog group, the independent Media Ratings Council (MRC). According to MRC, here are how often ads need to load in order for them to be considered "viewable":

  • Standard banner ads: At least 50% of the ads are in view for at least 1 second
  • Large format ads: At least 30% of the ads are in view for at least 1 second
  • Video ads: At least 50% of the ads are in view for at least 2 seconds

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