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BizReport : Viral Marketing : April 18, 2012

Brands: Should you allow viewers to skip your ads?

Consumers don't want to wait, that is the logic behind new ad technologies that allow consumers to skip video ads. But, according to one industry expert, this 'skipping' may actually be detrimental to brands. So, to skip or not to skip? That is the question.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Some new platforms are offering the ability to 'skip' ads. Is there a problem with this type of offering?

Jay Miletsky, CEO, MyPodStudios: In general, the biggest problem is in framing the skip so that it casts a negative light on the brand being advertised; the wording itself is negative. 'Skip this ad' is an apology - it's the demonization of the advertiser, blaming them for blocking the content rather than promoting them in a way that adds value.

There needs to be a balance - networks can't simply appease viewers and content providers at the expense of the brands that bring in the revenue. Those brands...need to be treated as valuable partners, and handled with respect rather than just a necessary evil.

Kristina: Recently ReadItLater noted that huge amounts of video and written content are being 'saved' via laptops and tablets so consumers can engage when they have time - do you see this 'as I can' consumption model as the future of online content? And, if so, what does that mean for advertisers?

Jay: To me, the concept of saving content to read or watch later makes sense for things like breaking news items that appear now but might fall off the radar if you wait too long to check it out. But for content with a longer shelf life....I'm not sure I see the point. Does anyone really need to save Charlie Bit Me so they can watch it later?

Kristina: What is driving the fast growth in online video consumption?

Jay: It's a number of things. First of all, technology has simply gotten better. That's a big part of it. Compression has improved, while better connectivity in homes and offices has simultaneously improved. At the same time, video equipment is also more accessible. A decent camera isn't all that expensive, and editing software comes pre-installed on some computers, or included on some networks, and is pretty easy to use. So there's this perfect storm that's allowed a lot of people to unlock their inner-Spielberg. Now, anyone with an idea can create decent video content - the perfect vehicle for speaking to audiences with ever-decreasing attention spans. And as more people turn to online video, more studios and celebrities are jumping in, raising the overall quality level of the pool, and creating even more reasons for viewers to come and watch.

More from Jay on Thursday - including his best practices for video advertisers.

Tags: MyPodStudios, online video, skipping ads, video ads, video content, video trends

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