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August 21, 2014

Only 2% of users ‘would be willing to pay for an ad-free Internet’

Cost of eliminating ads would only be around £140 a year, per person.

By Vinod

Despite the amount of annoyance and hatred directed at them each day, it seems that the vast majority of Internet users would appear to be happy to let online pop-up ads continue, even given the option to make them stop.

98% of users would not pay to remove all ads from the web, a new survey of 1,400 people across the UK has found, despite the overall cost coming out as just £140 a year per person.

This is despite the majority of users reporting that the quality of online advertising, especially video ads, needs to improve in order to keep younger consumers engaged.

Video adverts, such as those playing before a YouTube video starts, were a particular bane of contention, the survey found, with 63% of UK web users skipping such ads "as quickly as possible" which rose to 75% for 16-24 year olds.

The study also found that the use of ad-blocking software was on the rise as consumers looked to prevent unwanted intrusions, with 16% of all browsers using some form of ad-blocking technique.

"Poorly made or poorly placed ads get ignored, which means publishers lose out," Jeremy Arditi from video advertising platform Ebuzzing, which carried out the survey, said.

The company found the £140 ad-blocking figure by taking the spend on digital advertising in 2013 (£6.3bn according to IAB) and dividing it by the number of UK internet users (45 million according to ONS).

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"We need to get better at engaging, not better at interrupting. 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."

The findings will come in use for many companies looking to embrace the full potential of online advertising, as they look to effectively target customers. Research released last year by content verification firm Project Sunblock found that a third of brands did not know where their adverts appeared online, with 62% of brands also having no way of accessing real-time analytics on their advertising.


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