According to the latest online video study commissioned by AOL's Advertising.com ad sales network, consumers are happy to sit through ads in order to get free content, but prefer those ads to be "shorter than tv commercials."
What a shocker! A company that derives all of its revenue from the sale of advertising -- and increasingly from video advertising in particular -- has funded a study that, by its very design, directs the respondents to choose the options that suck least, but still suck. I've railed against similar studies that do nothing more than validate the status quo and give publishers and advertisers both excuses to take the easy route to the lowest common denominator (they call it "standards" and "scale" but let's not mince words.)
94% of respondents say that they would rather watch video (presumably pre-roll) ads than pay for online video content. Are these really the only two choices? How about sponsored content, product integration, commerce-oriented hotspots, branded entertainment? Or are these things too difficult to buy and sell?
63% say that they prefer those ads to be shorter than television commercials. In fact, "short" far outweighs "relevant" in consumers' minds, according to this survey. That sounds more like resignation than preference -- "If I have to sit through ads, then the least you can do is keep them short." By the way, the survey question itself framed the presence of in-stream ads as a foregone conclusion -- I quote: "Video ads are part of the online video experience..."
Sounds a lot like, "You can get it in any color your heart desires, as long as you want black. Oh wait a second, we also offer black-ish. Which one would you prefer?"
What ever happened to moving forward?