Tuesday, 19 April 2016 12:01

Ad blocker ‘invasion’ a threat to digital advertising market: Accenture Featured

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Ad blocker ‘invasion’ a threat to digital advertising market: Accenture Image courtesy of graur razvan, freedigitalphotos.net/images

Ad blocking technology is a growing threat to the digital advertising industry, according to global professional services firm, Accenture, which says that despite this many Australians say they would pay to eliminate ad interruptions to their TV viewing.

Accenture warns that the survey of 1,000 Australian consumers – with more than 3 in 10 (31%) indicating they would pay to eliminate advertising – signals a “serious and growing threat” to the digital advertising industry.

But, as reported by iTWire, Australia’s television networks are not taking the threat to their advertising revenues from ad blocker technology laying down.

Only last week, hot on the heels of Network 10 implementing a solution to defeat ad blockers, SBS TV has also now started rolling out new anti-ad blocking technology from Switch Media across its On Demand services including the network website, iOS and Android apps.

In its efforts to defeat ad blockers, Network Ten selected Brightcove server-side ad insertion technology for its premium online video catch-up and streaming service, tenplay.

And, Scott Dinsdale, Accenture’s Media & Entertainment lead for Australia and New Zealand, says that ad blockers are a relatively new threat to the burgeoning digital advertising industry.

“Consumers are increasingly willing to pay for blockers because too many ads are poorly targeted. In today’s world of personalised content, being forced to watch an ad that has no relevance is a missed opportunity and feels increasingly intrusive on precious screen-time. In fact, simple avoidance of content associated with heavy and repetitive irrelevant advertising will increase as consumer choice and awareness of choice increases.”   

Dinsdale says that viewed through a “proactive lens, understanding ad blocking behaviour can serve as a telling yardstick for media companies and brands in gauging how successfully they are connecting with consumers and whether they’re delivering the right message, in the right format, through the right channel, to the right consumer.”

Ad blockers are technological methods for automatically removing or altering advertising content such as videos, images, and text on a webpage. The blockers enable TV, smartphone, tablet and PC users to load video files more quickly, view more clean-looking webpages, reduce bandwidth consumption, and increase their privacy by removing tracking and profiling systems of video advertising delivery platforms.

The Accenture survey reveals that consumers in Australia find advertising interruptions more intrusive than the global average – 86% said advertising interruptions are too frequent versus 83% global, while 76% said that advertising interruptions do not match their personal interest versus 74% globally.

But, overall awareness of ad-blocking methods is slightly less prevalent among consumers in Australia (57%) compared to the global average of 62%.

The Accenture survey finds that young consumers are especially aware of ad blockers compared with older age groups. More than two-thirds (69%) of those aged 18 to 24, and a slightly lesser number (64%) of those between 25 and 34, say they know about ad-interruption technologies.

Accenture says it recommends that digital advertising organisations invest in user experience and user interface transformation, production studios, and post-production support resources and facilities.

“Equipped with a wealth of operational and analytical technologies that can be applied to solve these business problems, advertising can deliver value-added creative capabilities and more robust customised services to consumers,” says Dinsdale.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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