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Battling the Ad Blockers: Consumers Call for Improvement to Online Video Advertising

Battling the Ad Blockers: Consumers Call for Improvement to Online Video Advertising

The growing rise of the use of ad blocker technology among consumers continues to be a thorn in the side of publishers around the world.  The latest PageFair report revealed that approximately 400 million people (22% of the world’s 1.9bn smartphone users) are blocking ads on the mobile web. But what is behind the continued surge in the popularity of the technology, and how can publishers move away from the current cat and mouse game to fight back over the long-term?

At its core, ad blocking is a response to negative advertising experiences. So to understand the problem better Brightcove recently commissioned research firm Vanson Bourne to examine consumers’ evolving relationship with online video advertising, asking 4,000 viewers across the UK, France, and Germany about their experiences, feelings and preferences.

Exploring current opinions on the online video advertising experience, questioning the viability of alternative revenue models and trying to solve the riddle of ‘the perfect video ad’, the resulting report – The Ad-verse Consumer: European Video Advertising Tolerances in a Digital Age –  and its findings make for essential reading for businesses that use, serve or host online video advertising.

Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the findings:

Negative viewer experiences – Irrelevancy, volume, and poor delivery emerged as the key culprits behind today’s substandard advertising experiences. Almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents had experienced poor video ad delivery such as a failure of the ad load or repeated buffering, while a similar number (74%) had a negative experience with the content they had been served, whether that was because it was inappropriate or simply not relevant.

The reasons behind ad blocking – With one in two (51%) of the consumers we asked saying they have downloaded, used or are currently using an ad-blocker, the top reasons given for downloading were that ads are too long (56%), are not targeted or relevant (45%), and are not interactive (20%).

To pay or not to pay – Potentially discounting a paid-for model such as a subscription service as a viable alternative, 50% of consumers told us that they were not willing to pay for any form of online video content. Encouragingly, however, two-thirds (66%) said they understand and agree that it is fair for publishers to use online ads to fund free content.

Though the underlying message running through our results is that the present online ad user experience is not satisfying consumers, the silver lining for publishers is that the majority of consumers understand the ad-supported content model and just want improvements on their advertising experience.

To learn more about what these the improvements entail, download a copy of the full research report here.