UK ad viewability remains on track with levels hitting another positive high in the first quarter of 2018, according to ad verification firm Meetrics’ latest quarterly benchmark report.

The report found that the proportion of banner ads served that met minimum viewability guidelines rose from 56% to 59% – accounting for four consecutive quarters of growth.

Ads are deemed viewable if they follow the recommendation of both the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) and Media Rating Council that half of the ad is in view for a least one second.

The findings follow Meetrics’ previous quarterly report which said positive viewability results in the UK were due to advertisers focusing on quality placements and publishers valuing more quality inventory.

Despite the increase, however, the UK falls short compared to other European countries, ranking fifth among seven including Austria (71%), Sweden (65%) and Italy (64%).

“It’s the highest level since our records began and four straight quarters of growth is a reliable indication that the industry’s efforts to tackle viewability are paying off,” said Max von Hilgers, CEO and co-founder of Meetrics.

“Alongside this, campaigns are increasingly being optimised towards viewability and we’ve seen a drop in the number of impressions. This suggests a move towards more careful placements – a case of quality over quantity, not something the industry has historically been renowned for but an encouraging sign for the future.”

Display advertising remains a solid avenue for UK publishers with a separate report from the Digital Publishers Revenue Index reporting that publishers’ total revenue from display ads grew by 5.6% in the 12 months to December 2017.