It’s understandable that the advertising industry — and certainly broadcasters — want desperately to hang onto the 30-second ad paradigm, so research from CNN as reported in today’s Online Media Daily should surprise no one. In a nutshell, CNN found that visitors to CNN.com “tend to let the 30-second ads play in their entirety.” But, as reporter Erik Sass noted:
(The) figures reflect only the percentage of viewers that permitted an ad to play without shutting it off–not necessarily the proportion of visitors that actually watched the ad. The study also did not address the optimum length and positioning of video ads in relation to other video content–currently hot topics of debate.
The only thing worse than a square peg in a round hole is a square peg trying to get into a round hole.
This is a debated issue, but it’s only debated because the advertising industry is too bloody lazy to move to a 10-second paradigm. Not only is a 30-second ad a bad idea for streaming online, these things are killing broadcasting too, at least if you view the health of the industry from an audience’s perspective. The 30-second ad was a license to print money, and it produced a manageable method for growing profits. If you needed more money, you either raised the rates or shoved another ad in front of viewers. It’s not rocket science.
But that’s all in the past now, and viewers are in charge (and voting every day). Let me repeat something I’ve said before. If you put 30-second ads in front of an unbundled piece of internet content, you are asking users to go elsewhere. Why is this even debated?
You can do an awful lot with 10 seconds of undivided attention.