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Digital Advertising Benchmarks: Performance Metrics by Format

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Bigger is indeed sometimes better in digital advertising, according to a recent benchmarks report from PointRoll.

Larger, Rising Star display ad formats introduced by the IAB in 2012 had a 70% higher click-through rate (CTR) than smaller traditional display formats, the analysis of more than 100 billion impressions delivered in 2013 found.

Moreover, Rising Star formats also had a significantly higher average interaction rate (1.98% vs. 1.08%) and video completion rate (53.44% vs. 44.77%).

Below, additional key findings from the report.

CTR by Ad Type

  • In-stream video ads delivered a 4.5x higher CTR on average compared with Flash ads, and a 2.7X higher CTR compared with rich media ads.
  • Rich media ads with video had a 22% higher average click-through rate compared with rich media ads without video.


  • Only 60.4% of the impressions analyzed in the report were deemed "viewable" by IAB standards.
  • Viewability varied widely by vertical, with employment and sports publishers having the highest rate (72.6%) and community publishers the lowest (58.4%).

15-Second vs. 30-Second Video Ads

  • 30-second video ads delivered 55% more clicks on average than 15-second video ads.
  • 15-second videos had only a 6% higher completion rate on average than 30-second spots.

About the research: The report was based on an analysis of more than 100 billion ad impressions delivered in 2013.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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