S4M Study Reveals A Staggering $10 Billion Loss In Mobile Advertising Ecosystem Due To Lack Of Transparency

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AdVerification Score By S4M Launched To Tackle This Shortfall, Introducing A New Era For Mobile Ad Market

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“The AdVerification Score is a response to the recurring need for transparency among advertisers and media agencies," explains Christophe Collet, CEO and Founder of S4M.

S4M (Solutions for Mobile), a technology platform specializing in mobile advertising, announced today the results of an extensive global study, the first of its kind, conducted on a sample of 1 billion mobile ad impressions across 30 campaigns, which revealed a huge loss of $10 Billion to advertisers through a lack of ad transparency.

Ad units analyzed in the study were separated into two formats, HTML 5 and static. HTML 5 formatted ads are employed in branding campaigns, while ads in static formats are for performance-based campaigns. The study found viewability issues in nearly 20% of ads in HTML 5 format, which were not seen or closed before being displayed. However for ads in static formats, the study showed a major brand safety issue with almost 40% of ads appearing in unfavorable contexts.

In terms of device-targeting, both ad formats suffered an 8% loss due to wrong display environments, meaning the ad has not been properly played. Additionally, S4M’s study found that campaigns with ads in static format are often performance-based, defined by the number of clicks and downloads, this explains why ads are sometimes disseminated in adverse contexts.

To tackle the mobile ad transparency problem, which accounts for a massive 30% loss in the mobile ad market currently valued at over $68 Billion*, S4M created the AdVerification Score, allowing advertisers to see a simple mark out of 1000 for each ad served and enables them to assess impact and success immediately.

As mobile-native experts and an established industry leader, S4M has created a scoring system for mobile ads that will raise the level of accountability and make the mobile space a safer place for brand advertisers.

“The AdVerification Score is a response to the recurring need for transparency among advertisers and media agencies. Often marketers assume that the mobile advertising ecosystem is an opaque black box. In reality, it is not. We are offering a solution that gives brands a clear view of all the important parameters within a campaign” explains Christophe Collet, CEO and Founder of S4M.

S4M combined three major criteria into the AdVerification Score to evaluate each mobile ad; brand safety, device-targeting and viewability. The S4M AdVerification Score examines performance from the ad request, (the moment when an ad is called), until the ad impression (the actual moment when the format is truly delivered to the user).

In practice, the AdVerification Score will evaluate the genuine delivery of each ad impression and clarify the reasons behind lost ad spend within digital mobile campaigns. This Score is now a fixed-feature on the S4M platform, allowing brands to see each AdVerification Score in real-time. Brands can strive for an AdVerification Score of 1000/1000 for each mobile campaign and end the void of rules and metrics in the mobile ad industry.

Different sources of loss in ad spend were used as criteria in the study and then computed to create the AdVerification Score:

  •     Brand safety; S4M’s referrer platform excludes incentivized, unwanted and bot originated traffic from media campaigns,
  •     Viewability; S4M’s viewability standard is satisfied only when the ad is 100% loaded plus one second (a metric which is stricter than the IAB standard).
  •     Device-targeting; The S4M device check feature verifies that ads are displayed on the corresponding devices.

The results of the study revealed branding ads in HTML 5 format scored 872 out of 1000, which was higher than performance-based ads in static format that scored 627 out of 1000.

Christophe Collet concluded; “Establishing the AdVerification Score means trust for future growth. Brands can now strive for a higher standard where every single dollar spent on ad purchase sees a genuine return. By introducing the AdVerification Score, we are motivating the mobile ad sector to work harder at providing transparency in the ecosystem”.

See the infographic on The AdVerification Score

Source: *Mobile Internet Ad Spending Worldwide in 2015, figure from eMarketer

About the AdVerification Score
The AdVerification Score by S4M is a study conducted between January to June, 2015, based on 30 mobile campaigns examining both ads in HTML 5 and static formats. S4M analysed one billion impressions under these three criteria, brand safety, viewability, and device-targeting. AdVerfication Score is then calculated by the weight and importance of each criterion.

About S4M
S4M (Solutions for Mobile) has built the most advanced performance-advertising platform for mobile in the world. It includes two offerings; FUSIO by S4M – an analytics tool that uses advanced algorithms to predict, serve, measure, optimize and deliver mobile ad campaigns in real time, and YANCO by S4M – the performance advertising platform which uses the power of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to identify potential customers in real time. Founded in late 2012 by pioneers of the mobile marketing world, S4M now has over 70 employees in 5 offices across the U.S., Europe, Asia Pacific and South America, serving more than 150 advertisers globally. For more information about S4M, visit http://www.s4m.io.

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Gina Preoteasa
Kite Hill PR
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