Though estimates from platform to platform may vary, figures from Sizmek, one of the premium advertising platforms worldwide, show just how far behind programmatic advertising is in Latin America today, especially via mobile. According to Sizmek records, viewability rates for mobile and desktop display ads purchased directly with publishers in Latin America reached 60.0% and 53.0% in 2014, respectively. Those levels seemed to mirror the different stage of development the region exhibits, with desktop display ad viewability more or less at par with the worldwide average (54.4%).
But that was about the only category where Latin America shone. The viewability of display ads served by Sizmek to mobile devices in the region was well below the 74.1% average globally. By that metric, Asia-Pacific topped the list, with a 79.7% rate, followed by North America, at 74.0%.
Worse news for Latin America came from the more advanced programmatic display ad purchases category. Once again, desktop display ads were significantly more likely to be viewed in the region last year, at 31.8%, and were relatively close to the worldwide average of 39.7%. But the figure that really put things in perspective in Latin America was the 0.0% viewability rate on mobile display ads purchased programmatically. Worldwide, the average was an astounding 81.4%; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) led the category with 88.4% viewability.
It is a sobering figure that puts the state of programmatic in Latin America in perspective. In all likelihood, the scarcity of programmatic inventory and audience data are two of the main factors limiting the success of this new technology, but the option would be to stick with old and less efficient digital advertising media buying models already being replaced everywhere else.