Ever since the launch of Apple’s iOS 9 platform, which enabled developers to build ad blocking technology into their apps, the ad blocking issue has loomed large on the radar of online video producers and marketers. The amount of potential revenue loss from ad blocking has been estimated to be as high as approaching $22 billion. Although this may be an inflated figure, what is not in doubt is that the phenomenon represents a major obstacle to be navigated in 2016 and beyond.
A research by IAB suggested that 35% more people watched online video content on a mobile device in 2015 than did in 2014. This is a significant increase. As more and more people use mobile devices to access online video content, so providers must address the challenge of making them want to allow ad content to get through.
Why are mobile users reluctant to view ad content?
The problem with getting mobile device users to allow ad content through is that they currently have no incentive to do so. In fact, quite the opposite; ad content can actually detract from the viewing experience. Viewing this content is quite often hard on data usage and it can easily lead mobile websites to crash. It does not currently make a lot of sense for mobile device users to abandon any ad blocking software they use.
Moving away from the negative to the positive
Often advertisers and video producers have been tempted to try and persuade viewers to allow ad content to get through by warning them of things they could be missing out on. The problem with this practice is that it has negative connotations. A far better way to go is to tell viewers about what they can gain by getting rid of ad blocking software. Mobile gaming providers have gone down this route. Some developers offer gamers rewards like double experience points if they watch ads during gameplay. People are far more likely to respond positively if they feel they have something to gain.
Of course, video content providers also need to look at the way their content reacts to viewing on a mobile device and how ad content can adversely affect the viewer experience. Making positive changes also has the potential to increase viewers’ willingness to accept ad content.
Addressing the problem of ad blocking is not easy but it has to be done. If providers do not take steps to incentivise viewers and improve their ad viewing experience then they are set to continue losing out on valuable ad revenue. For any provider, this is a major financial concern that needs to be considered in 2016 and beyond.