DoubleVerify (DV) has published its third annual Global Insights Report, and once again, it’s full of valuable insights into trends in digital advertising, across individual markets and the world at large.
First things first — global findings were generally very positive, with DV’s global benchmark for brand suitability violations remaining at a steady 7.1% from last year, while APAC specifically had the second-lowest regional brand suitability violation rate at just 6.8%.
APAC has done remarkably across the board and is leading in many key quality indicators, with the highest video viewability rates and lowest fraud and sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) rates globally. However, when broken down market-by-market, a clearer picture of each locale’s strengths and weaknesses emerges. For example, while India has seen brand suitability violation rates drop by 33% this year, APAC only saw a 2% decrease overall due to Australia and New Zealand’s violation rate increasing by 20%.
Interestingly, while post-bid fraud and SIVT dropped for the third consecutive year, the total number of new fraud schemes has actually doubled from 2020 to 2022. During a webinar unpacking some of the APAC-specific findings, DoubleVerify’s global VP of marketing analytics, Collette Spagnolo, commented, “This means that while pre-bid fraud protection certainly mitigates the damage that fraudsters can do, those protections don’t stop them from concocting new schemes that are aimed at syphoning ad spend.”
Crime never sleeps — so why should your security system?
When comparing an unmanaged campaign without any protection in place to DV benchmarks, DV documented fraud rates of up to 25% on the unmanaged campaign, making one in four impressions the “cost of doing nothing.” Ad fraud schemes pose a persistent threat to all advertisers, which is why DoubleVerify advocates for an “always-on” approach. The company compares always-on verification to a home security system in its ability to prevent, detect, and record undesirable activity.
“A holistic verification system operates quite similarly,” said Spagnolo. “Prebid activation avoids quality violations before they even happen, hosted blocking and filtering halts ad delivery and unacceptable environments, and the monitoring process documents and reports activity, which of course is then used to inform planning and optimisation.”
“This might sound very obvious, but you need your security system to be on for it to work. The same goes for verification. The system has to be always on, and it must be turned on everywhere [in order to] provide a foundation of quality,” continued Spagnolo.
With new channels come new challenges
Now that your verification system is always on, it’s important to make sure it’s covering all channels you’re using, from the established to the emerging. Fuelled by the increase in streaming services and subscriptions, connected TV (CTV) has seen a strong and steady influx of ad dollars, with DV recording 62% year-on-year growth in CTV ad impression volume globally, while Australia recorded 150% growth and India, a whopping 369%. CTV is also outperforming other environments such as desktop, mobile app, and mobile web when it comes to video completion rates (VCR), with an impressive 96% VCR.
It’s not all rosy, however. As CTV increases in popularity among both consumers and advertisers, so too has its rate of bot fraud. DoubleVerify’s Fraud Lab found that CTV fraud schemes have tripled from 2020–2022, while more than one in three CTV impressions are served while TVs are off. In its comparison of DV benchmarks versus an unmanaged campaign, the former scored a 0.6 CTV fraud violation rate, while the latter recorded 17.6 times more fraud with an 11.2% violation rate.
When protecting your ad spend, it’s crucial to leverage futureproof solutions such as DV Authentic Attention®, which provides sophisticated solutions that evolve with emerging channels like CTV while being privacy-friendly and not reliant on cookies.
What (and where) you buy matters
In today’s highly saturated digital advertising landscape, attention is currency. According to a 2017 Forbes report, consumers could be exposed to as many as 10,000 ads per day, which is why context and suitability across geography, devices, and industries are everything when it comes to driving attention in a privacy-proof way.
“Attention enables advertisers to optimise campaign performance and increase their return on ad spend. When buying media, you should consider both exposure and engagement to fully maximise your ad’s impact,” said Spagnolo.
APAC is leading when it comes to attention in video, due to media investments in the region being heavily weighted towards in-app inventory, which has higher-than-average attention. As a result, placements in APAC rank higher for exposure across both display and video compared to other regions. However, it’s vital to take a closer look at specific markets to confirm whether they’re outliers, as in the case of India, which saw a 17% decrease in video viewability this year.
Geography, ad format, device, and industry are all factors that advertisers must consider when devising — and refining — their media buying strategies, and measuring how well a campaign captures attention is a similarly nuanced affair.
During DV’s APAC webinar, Dominic Barnard, head of programmatic for APAC at GroupM Nexus, commented that there is “still a long way to go” in having attention widely adopted as a success metric, something he attributes in part to there being no industry consensus on its definition. While some may conflate attention with samples of user eye-tracking data, that methodology is “generally only going to be applied to a few sample campaigns, as opposed to applied to all campaigns”, said Barnard. In his view, DV’s methodology of analysing over 50 data points on exposure and engagement in real-time to form a unified attention metric “has much more capability to scale” and represents “the next step in our quality evolution” from viewability to attention.
According to the Global Insights Report, shifting placements from high-volume average or low-performing domains to those that index higher for attention offers brands significant opportunities to level up their attention optimisation efforts and stand out from the crowd.
To find out more, download the full Global Insights Report from DoubleVerify