I’m sure you’ve had the experience of going to a web page and having a video autoplay. It’s one of the most annoying things publishers do, in my opinion. Putting aside that it can be a bandwidth hog, chew up your mobile data plan and hang a page as it loads, inevitably you’ve forgotten to mute your machine or phone and a blast of unanticipated noise can be startling at best and embarrassing at worst. Yecch.
It’s in that context that I read something this morning from an AdAge and RBC study on marketing. I’m sure you’re aware the Facebook has rolled out autoplay video ads. Oh joy. Well, according to the study (as reported via eMarketer):
While just 9% of US marketers said they already purchased autoplay video ads on the social network, the majority were somewhat (33%) or very (21%) likely to purchase such placements in the next six months. This put the percentage of respondents who viewed autoplay video ads positively at nearly two-thirds. The strong interest supports RBC research released at the end of August 2014, which estimated that Facebook would sell $700 million worth of autoplay video ads this year alone.
I love that 2/3 of marketers view the ads positively. Where is the research on how consumers feel about them? Yes, I’m aware that you can turn off the autoplay (click here to learn how) but the default on both the web and the app is to let them play. It’s not just Facebook either. Twitter, YouTube, and others are testing the same thing, albeit just autoplay videos (no ads – yet).
Maybe it’s my New York attitude but to publishers offering autoplay content or ads and to the marketers who buy them I say “get out of my face.” Make your content interesting and engaging, not intrusive and annoying. Romance me, don’t assault me. I’m sure I’m not the only person who longer visits certain sites due to their use of autoplay nor the only one who has disabled the feature wherever I can. I’m still not sure why I should have to do that in the first place.
What are your thoughts?