Friday, December 02, 2011

We’re Starting To Believe Our Own Press

There is a report out from FreeWheel, a video monetization firm, that indicates that video ad views are growing rapidly.

This is true as advertisers are stuffing ever more commercials into online content.

But the interpretation of this data is misleading. FreeWheel’s conclusion is that despite the heavier ad loads, users watched 82% of the ads slated within online comedies and dramas.

“Watched.”

Really? How do they know?

How do they know viewers weren’t checking their email when the commercials came on?

Did they give the viewer the chance to fast-forward through the commercial if they didn’t want to “watch” it?

No.

The viewer was held hostage by the commercial. Their only choice was to sit through it, or abandon the program they were watching.

According to JoAnna Abel, VP of Marketing for FreeWheel, “It shows that consumers have proven to content owners that they understand that to watch their favorite content for ‘free’ they need to watch ads.”

Ms Abel, you really haven’t given consumers a choice, have you? They “need” to watch the ads because you force them to watch the ads.

It’s mis-interpretations like this lead to headlines blaring out, “Viewers Not Turned Off By Online Ads.”

And then, advertisers go ahead and believe the headlines.

No wonder the digital platform is slowly being choked to death by more and more ads.

It's what happens when you start to believe your own press.

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