Having video viewers tell you which video ads they want to see, and don’t want to see is the new thing. Facebook has been using it for sometime with their own ads and now Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Hulu planning to do the same.
A research study of the new Hulu-designed format led by Vivaki, the digital arm of French advertising company Publicis Group, showed that users are twice as likely to click an ad when given a choice, as opposed to when one is selected for them.
The new ad-selecting tool is called ASq and is poised to assist websites in receiving higher rates while letting marketers attract more eyeballs and improve consumer targeting. Then again, there might be some like me who just click no on almost all the ads we see.
Along with the other sites mentioned CBS.com, AOL.com, and Discovery.com plan to start using ASq as well. And it is reported that Google’s YouTube is studying it. Asq will give viewers the option to choose from three or more ads instead of foisting a pre-roll on them, which is where a lot of viewers are generally lost.
Considering that you’ll have a choice on what video ad to see it might not be such a bad thing. They still might have to push certain ads on you to make sure they generate enough revenue, but at least you’ll possibly see less annoying ads or a lower number of them. However, with Hulu’s recent announcement that their Plus service will have the same number of ads as the free service does now and that service will double the ad load, I’m not so sure how this will work. They’re obviously going to still be pushing ads on you whether you like it or not (and expect you to pay to see the ads as well!). I don’t know that simply giving viewers a choice of which ads to watch will be enough. Perhaps if they gave us a choice of which ads and how many or how long they might have a better chance of keeping our attention. But expecting us to pay for content and watch a fair number of ads…well that’s going to the well one too many times for my taste.