60% of digital publishers are auto-playing half of their video adverts

Over half (60%) of digital publishers are auto-playing at least half of their video ads across their own sites, according to a new MediaRadar report based on an examination of 63,000 video ads between January and June 2017.

Auto-play enables publishers to quickly capture audience attention, whilst at the same time being deemed a little more intrusive by consumers. Arguably, this has contributed to an increase in ad blocker adoption.

The report also stated that 31% of publishers were auto-playing at least 75% of on-site video advertising inventory. Meanwhile, 30% auto-played between 50-75% of their video ads and 39% auto-played half or less of their ads.

According to the report, there’s minimal variance on a month to month basis among sites when it comes to auto-play strategies. That means, a large number of sites have already adopted a model and follow it rigorously.

MediaRadar also found that smaller sites which feature niche or hobby and niche B2B content featured auto-play adverts more often. Publishers who employ programmatic ads were also more likely to use this type of advertising.

Todd Krizelman, CEO and Co-founder of MediaRadar, explained:

“Among these three segments of sites that have embraced auto-play video ads, there is no broad shift happening, where websites are reducing their dependency on auto-start video inventory. In fact, we see exceptionally low variance month-to-month. Most sites have chosen a model and stayed with it consistently in 2017. Also, it’s important to note that there isn’t one singular type of media company that supports auto-start ads. They’re everywhere, almost.”

The findings suggest that auto-play formats may be posing a challenge for the digital ad ecosystem in the future. Indeed, tech players such as Google may punish mobile and desktop sites running auto-play ads. As part of the Coalition for Better Ads, the company has plans to roll out its own native ad blocker for Chrome next year that would block such ads.