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No-one likes pre-rolls

News, 09 June 2016

NEW YORK: Ninety percent of people skip pre-roll ads appearing ahead of their online videos and TV shows, according to new research.

A survey of 1,015 US adults, conducted by ORC International for ad tech firm Mirriad, revealed that ad avoidance activities are widespread, with three quarters (76%) of respondents also blocking ads online and skipping traditional ads on television.

The figures vary a little depending on age: 84% of millennials admitted to blocking or skipping ads all or some of the time, while 73% and 72% respectively of gen X and baby boomers claimed the same.

Such findings are perhaps not surprising, coming, as they do, from a native advertising specialist whose business proposition is "advertising for the skip generation", but "these results reflect what most of us already know as individuals," argued Mark Popkiewicz, Mirriad CEO.

"We skip ads. If we have a DVR, we skip ads. If we have mobiles, we skip ads. If we watch online, we skip ads -- and given access to the right apps, we block them altogether," he told MediaPost. "Why? Because they all too often get in the way of the experience we are looking for when we seek out the content we love.

"There must be a better way, because ads are an important part of the way content is funded," he added. "In the future, ads must become more respectful of viewers and delivered in such a way so as to add value, be truly helpful at whatever life stage the consumer is at, and not manifest like a stick-up on a street corner at night: 'Watch me or I'll take your purse'."

The survey showed that millennials, especially, wanted to see less disruptive forms of advertising rather than traditional commercials (27% vs. 15% of gen X and 9% of baby boomers).

And tailored ads also resonated rather more with millennials (80%+) than with other generations (less than 50%).

More than half (53%) of baby boomers didn't want to see any advertisements at all, but millennials were less jaded, with only 30% feeling that way.

Data sourced from Mirriad, MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff