Internet Users Cite Autoplay Video Ads With Sound as ‘Annoying’

In an effort to determine consumer perception of online advertising, research firm eMarketer recently worked with the customer experience analytics firm Bizrate Insights to survey its panel of U.S. digital buyers. The objective was to find out more information about their ad avoidance habits and the types of ads they found useful or annoying.

The results of the survey indicated that about two-thirds of U.S. digital buyers thought autoplay video ads with sound were annoying, making them the most annoying type of online ad, according to eMarketer. “Autoplay videos without sound, which irked 55 percent of respondents, was No. 2,” the research firm noted. “Perhaps surprisingly, the third-leading response was audio ads on music streaming services or podcasts. Almost half of respondents said they found them annoying.”

“It's not surprising to see another piece of confirmation that consumers don't like autoplay video,” eMarketer principal analyst Nicole Perrin said in a research note about the survey’s findings. “They tend to prefer less intrusive formats and contextually appropriate creative. Most also know they need ad support in order to enjoy the media they want, but want advertisers and publishers to be respectful of their attention.”

The research firm noted that the panel that was surveyed is not representative of all U.S. internet users, and that more than half of the respondents said they used an ad blocker as of July 2019. The respondents also skewed older, female and affluent. “Still, there’s no reason not to think this group’s opinion of specific ad types isn’t representative of groups that are relatively likely to block ads,” eMarketer noted.