Autoplay video has been one of the most controversial advertising mediums we have ever seen. When it was first introduced in 2013, many thought that users’ backlash will impede the feature’s progress. But here we are in 2017, and instead of disappearing, publishers and brands began optimizing their content for autoplay videos.
If you take a look at your brand’s online video analytics, you’ll notice that the number of times your video was autoplayed is much higher than the number of click-to-play views. This means that your audience watches your video while passively scrolling their newsfeed. While Facebook loves this features, other companies and the majority of consumers simply don’t.
That’s why Google announced that starting the new year, Chrome 64 will automatically block autoplaying videos with sound. However, autoplay video and audio will be allowed in two cases. First, if the user engaged with the video, the audio will turn back on or if the user has continuously played video on a certain site, autoplay will be allowed on this site. Users also won’t have to wait this long, in Chrome 63, users will be able to completely block sound from playing on certain websites that annoy the user.
This isn’t the first effort by Google to rid its users from the “intrusive ads” experience. They previously announced that Chrome will have its own ad-blocker which will come enabled by default. The blocker will use the Better Ads standards to determine intrusive ads from non-intrusive ads. The Better Ads standard was written by the Better Ads Coalition, which includes Google, Facebook, several major media groups and brands.
The announcement has sparked a storm of controversy, as advertisers feared that Google will use this feature to spread its control over the online advertising space. However, Google confirmed that it will penalize all ads that don’t comply with the standards, even their own.
The move comes as Google tries to protect their interests since they make the majority of their revenue from advertising. With the number of people installing ad-blocks on the rise, Google hopes that their ad-block will help people enable ads that don’t ruin their browsing experience rather than blocking ads altogether. This will also save Google money, as they currently pay Adblock Plus to whitelist their ads.
It’s well known that video advertisement largely depends on audio in order to deliver an experience immersive to all senses. Autoplaying videos with sound on helped advertisers create those immersive experience, but it came at the cost of user experience. However, with the ever decreasing attention span of audiences online, brands and content creators resorted to subtitles and closed captions to capture the user’s attention even if the video autoplayed on mute.
What do you think of the new update? Will it affect how your brand advertise digitally or the changes won’t affect you? Share with us in the comments and tell us how do you make your ads user-friendly!
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