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BizReport : Internet : August 25, 2014

Internet users not prepared to pay for ad-free online experience

It's annoying, for some, but a fact of life - ads are what keep the Internet free of charge to use. Video ad platform Ebuzzing calculated just how much it would cost each user in the U.K. if advertising was not the life-blood of the Internet.

by Helen Leggatt

How does $232.24 (£140) sound to have your Internet experience free of ads? That's how much it would cost, in the U.K., according to the calculations of Ebuzzing. That sum roughly equates to the current cost of a television license in the U.K.

The value was arrived at by calculating the average value of each Internet user by taking the amount spent on digital advertising in the U.K. last year - $10.6 billion (£6.4 billion) and dividing it by the number of Internet users in the country (45 million).

So, will the U.K.'s online population pay up to avoid advertising? Not by a long shot. When told how much it would cost them to enjoy an ad-free Internet experience, 98% said they would not pay it and would, instead, tolerate ads.

Not that those U.K. Internet users enjoy seeing ads. Nearly two-thirds (63%) skip video ads "as quickly as possible", rising to 75% among 16-24 year olds, while a quarter mute sound and 1 in 5 scroll to avoid video. Another 16% use ad-blocking software - a surprisingly low number.

According to Jeremy Arditi, U.K. managing director at Ebuzzing, the ad industry has a major role to play to keep Internet content free, "but we have to respond to what consumers are telling us".

"We need to get better at engaging, not better at interrupting," said Arditi. "That means introducing new formats which consumers find less invasive, more creative ads that are better placed, and giving consumers a degree of choice and control."

Tags: ad blocking, advertising, Internet

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