Another Day, Another Useless Study

Today, ad network Burst Media put out their latest issue of their newsletter, and in it, they bashed pre-roll with some pretty nasty looking data.

Once again, we’re presented with a bunch of charts and graphs and data points on why pre-roll sucks. But once again, we have no idea about the content that was used in the study.

Bad News: Most Stop Watching Video Content If An Ad Shows, Or Worse
Among respondents, one-half (50.7%) stop watching an online video once they encounter an in-stream advertisement.

Why is this even remotely interesting when you don’t know what kind of content the user was looking to watch? Answer – it isn’t. Users that abandon watching a “user initiated” video clip because they see the start of an ad simply don’t care about watching that video.

Would it have been worth it if they knew it was only a 5-second ad? I bet it would be. What if it were exclusive video? What if you desperately needed to hear about that breaking news story?

I am, again, on yet another rant about unmonetizable content. If the success of your business depends on running a pre-roll ad in front of “Man Lights Fart on Fire,” then you need to reconsider your business model. Fun to watch? Sure. Good business? Not even close.

Can we please stop bashing pre-roll? Can we please stop pumping out research that tells us that people don’t like advertising? Can we please talk about this powerful, exciting and effective medium like the complicated and layered business that it is? Size of the video player, quality of content, type of content, length of content — all factors that are continuously left out of research, but desperately need to be factored in to media planning. There are no simple answers, so lets stop looking for them. Lets start working on some in-depth analysis that (gasp) may be over the head of a 24 year old media planner.

Yes, it is hard to measure so many factors in any one study. But without it, we will continuously discover the same thing. Kids like music and entertainment, news is the most popular video category, and nobody likes ads.