Online Ad Overload Begins After Fourth Commercial, Hub Study Says

Pretty much, you can do anything in moderation and get away with it, and a new study says that’s even true with commercials.

A new study, “TV Advertising in an OTT World” from Hub Research  says online video viewers can deal with five ads per 30 minutes of viewing. After that, it gets ugly.  (Or uglier, to be truthful. Only 36% say they can tolerated one or two ads in a half hour. But that drops to 20% with five or six ads.)

The gist of the entire report seems to suggest that online viewers know that avoiding commercials is not going to happen without paying. It seems TV has drilled that into them.

But, this research says, TVEverywhere gets slapped silly by consumers, when they have to endure the linear TV commercial-style and load.

Consumers in this study were asked to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, the quality, quantity and relevance of ads they see on commercially-supported online video sites. TVEverywhere--authenticated TV- scores significantly lower than YouTube, Hulu and HuluPlus, and consistent with other data from this study, the TV Everywhere commercial load is also the highest--6.7 per half hour,

The stats also fall off the table when tabulating recall--45% of these viewers have some reasonable recall of YouTube ads, but only 19% do for authenticated TV spots.

For this study, conducted earlier this month, Hub studied 1,200 U.S. viewers who watch at least five hours of TV per week, and use at least one one ad-supported online video platform.

The Hub report has some downers for online advertisers. It concluded, for example, that more than a third of viewers are less likely to pay attention to online ads than ads on linear TV.

If there’s an upside to that, it’s that half of the respondents say it doesn’t make much difference.

Peter Fondulas, a principal at Hub, who co-authored study, observed.  “Online, distractions are just a click away. So it’s even more important to deliver ads in a way that engages consumers. Our study shows that dynamic advertising is the most compelling way to accomplish that.”

And dynamic advertising and targeting are ad enhancements linear television can’t duplicate very much.

But online viewers seem no more attentive. They’re apparently not watching online messages, just like their TV-watching peers tend to avoid them. Only 21% say they watch the messages most of the time. Others just do something else, leave the room or, if they can, on YouTube for example, they skip through the spot.

Authenticated viewers, this study says, do nothing. They are less likely to focus on something else, less likely to go to  another room--and also less likely to watch commercials. That evokes a vision of the glassy glaze, the classic vegging out mode. Been there.
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