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VOD ads don't deliver

News, 18 March 2016

NEW YORK: Two thirds of users of video-on-demand services say the ads they see there are usually for products they don't want, according to a global study.

Nielsen's Global Video-on-Demand Report polled more than 30,000 online respondents in 61 countries and found that a broadly similar proportion (65%) wanted to block all ads.

Only slightly fewer (62%) complained that the online ads shown before, during or after VOD programming, were distracting.

But despite this level of disillusionment more than two thirds (68%) of North American consumers were prepared to put up the irrelevant and intrusive advertising if it mean they could view free content, MediaPost reported, in a finding that has wider implications for the current debate around digital advertising and the value exchange with consumers.

The acceptance of advertising was highest in North America, dropping to 60% in Latin America, 59% in Asia-Pacific countries and 53% in Europe.

Frustration with retargeting was also more evident in Europe, where around one third of respondents expressed an aversion to being shown ads for products they'd just bought.

Consumers in North America, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East/Africa were more tolerant with half saying they didn't mind that practice.

Globally, just over one-quarter of respondents (26%) said they paid to watch broadcast or VOD programming via subscription to an online-service provider such as Hulu, Netflix or Amazon, compared with 72% who say they pay to watch via a traditional TV connection.

Considering this, said Nielsen, "it appears that more supplementing [of services] than shedding is taking place around the world". But responses varied widely from region to region.

Thus, North America and Asia-Pacific led the way in terms of paying to watch, with around one third of respondents there paying an online-service provider for programming content, while Europe was well below the global average, at just 11%.

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