You’ve seen the studies about the huge growth in online video ads, as well as the boost in ad loads in Web shows. But guess what? Consumers aren’t quite as fond of the commercial messages as those of us in the business.
When asked what frustrates them most about watching video over the web, about half of Internet users who consume broadband video said there are too many ads during the shows. About 53% kvetched about the ad load, while 51% said their biggest frustration was with the time it takes to buffer or start a video, according to an online survey of more than 7000 Internet users who consume video over the Internet. The study was conducted by Accenture in late February.
Ad annoyance is highest in the young. Among those 18 to 24, Accenture said 65% dislike the frequency of ads in online video, a percentage that drops as age rises. Only 49% of the 45 to 54 set say they’re peeved by ads.
To some degree, consumers get that ads are the cost of admission for free programming. But there is a delicate balance that providers and publishers should be aware of. “The increased frustration consumers express about the volume of advertising interrupting or interfering with their content seems to point to the growing scale of the market and its reach,” Accenture said in the report. “But there appears to be a point at which the trade-off between free content and frequency of commercials becomes unpalatable. Providers with largely ad-funded models will perhaps need to reflect on the sustainability of that strategy as consumers’ willingness to put up with interruptions and delays in exchange for free content diminishes.”
When asked what they’d be willing to pay for, 35% said reduced ad load and 35% said higher quality of video content, such as hi-def videos.
About 60% of respondents watch free video, and about 43% pay, either via their pay TV service, a TV license fee or pay per view.