While the consensus for years has been that consumers won’t accept watching ads (at least not too many ads) in online video like they do while watching television, a report from comScore tells a different story. It turns out that consumers who watch full-length programs on a site like Hulu.com are more willing to watch ads than advertisers originally thought, particularly if watching a few more ads per hour means the online video service will remain free to use.
For example, the study shows that most people who watch programs on Hulu.com are actually avid television viewers who choose Hulu.com not primarily to avoid ads but because they missed a program when it aired on television or to watch several episodes of a program at one time. Only 38% of the 2,000 people surveyed claimed to watch programs on Hulu.com because there are fewer commercials. The study also showed that respondents are willing to watch up to 50% more commercials per hour to keep the site free.
Considering the fact that (by number of viewers) Hulu.com is the second fastest growing online video site and the second largest online video site (but still significantly behind the market leader, Google video sites, which includes YouTube.com), these statistics are important for brand advertisers. It turns out that a medium which was once considered to be anti-ads might not be anti-ads at all, and that’s a big opportunity for brands to connect with consumers!
The trick for brands is to find the types of online videos where consumers are willing to accept watching ads. Clearly, not all online videos (and not all ads) are equal, and different video site are equally different. In other words, blanket online video advertising strategies will cause you to miss opportunities to connect with engaged, and targeted consumer audiences. A better online video advertising strategy is a highly segmented one.
What do you think about online video advertising as a marketer? How about as an online video viewer? Does your opinion change? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
Image: Flickr — Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV on Hulu.com
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