The conventional wisdom is that because screen sizes are smaller, mobile ads are more likely to be in view. A study from ad management company Sizmek says as much.
Viewability vendors argue otherwise, though. According to Moat, 50.5 per cent of display ads on publisher sites it measures were viewable in the fourth quarter. But on mobile, that figure declined to 44.3 per cent.
“There’s a huge misperception around mobile that because it’s mobile, somehow it’s viewable,” said Jonah Goodhart, CEO and co-founder of Moat.
There are various explanations as to why. Mobile devices encourage fast scrolling and swiping, and it’s common behavior for users to scroll past ads before the ads have had time to load. Some readers don’t even get to the ads that are further down an article page. So-called adhesive units on mobile — ads that “stick” to the bottom of the screen as the user scrolls — tend to be more viewable, but they’re not always used.
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