Study: Only 4% of digital ads are viewed for more than 2 seconds

Dive Brief:

  • A mere 9% of digital ads are viewed for more than one second, according to research firm Lumen, which used eye-tracking technology on 300 consumers’ laptops to collect data on 15,000 online ads.
  • Perhaps the most distressing result of the bleak findings is that only 4% of digital ads are viewed more than two seconds.
  • In fact, the study found only 44% of online ads are even viewed at all, Marketing Week reports.

Dive Insight:

It's a debate that's almost as old as the internet itself: What constitutes an ad impression?

The IAB standard for digital ad impressions is one second, but Lumen suggests that marketers would be better served to take a page from the print advertising playbook. Lumen cited data from its “pressomnibus” lab that found a full-page in a tabloid newspaper will be viewed by 88% of readers for an average of 2.8 seconds, while a billboard format ad on a website will be viewed by 38% of visitors for an average of 1.5 seconds.

With the ongoing trend of increasing ad block tech adoption, just getting a digital ad in front of a viewer is becoming more of a challenge. But if brands can take these findings to heart and find new ways to engage internet users with less intrusive and more valuable advertising, users may not find it as necessary to adopt ad blocking software.

“It is very cocky to think anyone is going to look at your digital video for more than 4 seconds. You don’t put a TV ad’s worth of content into a poster so why try to in digital channels? Digital marketers need to start thinking in terms of attention economics or they will just keep on failing," Mike Follett, managing director of Lumen, told Marketing Week.

Lumen suggests that digital ads should be made for short viewing, and brands can adapt by going for shorter ad formats.

Filed Under: Trends Analytics