Most Online Video Advertising a ‘Reasonable’ Quid pro Quo

July 24, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Media & Entertainment | Television

The vast majority of digital video consumers find the inclusion of advertising “reasonable” in return for accessing free online video, though the level of acceptance varies by type of video content, according to an Ipsos study.

MOTION, Ipsos MediaCT‘s ongoing digital video tracking study, finds as follows:


  • At least three in four digital video consumers say they would find it “reasonable” for advertising to be included in the free digital distribution of full-length TV shows (82% say so) and movies (75%).
  • Around two-thirds say the inclusion of advertising would be reasonable with free access to music videos (68%) and short news/sports clips 63%).
  • However, the tide of acceptance turns in the case of amateur or homemade video, with a majority of consumers saying ads in them are unreasonable.

Just over half (52%) of consumers age 12+ who have downloaded or streamed a video online say they would find it “not reasonable” to have advertising embedded within free amateur or homemade video offerings online.

This finding is particularly interesting because some video-sharing websites, such as YouTube, are beginning to diversify their content offerings to include longer, more professionally produced material that may be supported by advertising, Ipsos pointed out.

“Ad-subsidized service models will have to be carefully considered by these video-sharing websites, since their current audience has grown accustomed to free streams without any advertising,” said Adam Wright, Director at Ipsos MediaCT. “As advertising starts to appear within their offerings, it has the potential to alter attitudes, perceptions and usage of these sites.”

“Still, for most video content types, the majority of these consumers find the trade-off between free video content with advertising to be a fair value proposition,” Wright added.

About the data: Data were sourced from Ipsos MediaCT’s MOTION study, which was conducted online among a representative US sample of internet users age 12 years and older, in February 2008.

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