Union JackAn ad-free internet would cost each person in the UK at least £140 a year, a sum which 98 percent of UK web users say they would never pay, according to research from Ebuzzing*, a video ad platform. The study also looked  the mobile app sector and found that 77 percent of consumers never upgrade to paid for versions of free mobile apps.

Ebuzzing then commissioned Censuswide, an independent research firm, to survey a nationally representative group of more than 1,400 UK consumers, and found that 63 percent of web users say they skip online video ads ‘as quickly as possible’. That figure rises to 75 percent for 16-24 year olds.

Over a quarter of all respondents (26 percent) said they mute their sound and one in five scroll away from the video. 16 percent use ad blocking software and 16 percent open a new browser window or tab. In all cases, young people were more adept when it came to avoiding ads.

Ebuzzing asked respondents, ‘Which of the following do you do to avoid video ads?’ and got the following results:

  All 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55+
I skip as quickly as I can 63% 75% 67% 62% 62% 60%
I mute my sound 26% 38% 30% 31% 23% 20%
I scroll away from the video 20% 20% 21% 21% 20% 19%
I use ad blocking software 16% 18% 17% 12% 15% 17%
I open a new browser window or tab 14% 21% 23% 13% 11% 11%

Respondents were asked which factors would make them more likely to watch online video ads, with 34 percent saying the ad ‘should be relevant to me’ and one in five (20 percent) saying ‘being able to select the ad I watch’ was important, rising to 38 percent for 16-24 year olds. 26 percent said the ad should be ‘funny or entertaining’ and 21 percent wanting short ads (less than one minute). 16 percent said ads should be relevant to the content being consumed at the time.

Jeremy Arditi, Managing Director, UK and SVP International Sales at Ebuzzing said: “It’s clear the ad industry has a major role to play in keeping web content free, but we have to respond to what consumers are telling us and up our game if the phenomenal growth of online video is to be sustained. Poorly made or poorly placed ads get ignored, which means publishers lose out. We need to get better at engaging, not better at interrupting.”

Commenting on the implications for mobile publishers, Arditi continued, “Publishers of mobile apps will remain heavily reliant on in-app advertising to fund their content creation. That means the same rules apply – they must give consumers ads that offer choice, relevance, entertainment and brevity.”

* Ebuzzing arrived at the £140 figure by taking census data from the Office of National Statistics and the IAB’s figures for digital advertising spend in 2013. It’s worth noting that many regard the IAB figures as being conservative as not all companies disclose the exact figures to the IAB.

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