Why Do Ads Get Blocked?


CatapultX uses AI to power circumstantially relevant and non-interruptive video ads integrated within the video not to hinder the audience experience. 

Zack Rosenberg, CEO and co-founder of CatapultX believes that when customer experience is enhanced, users react positively to advertising. A win for content creators and advertisers alike. We speak to Rosenberg about what brands can do to ensure their streaming can shine.  

How has consumer behaviour of sports fans changed during the pandemic? What lasting changes do you see in a post-pandemic world?

We needed sports to keep itself together over the last year. While we may not have been able to attend events in person or share the experience with our friends and family, the games went on and my conversations both online and with my friends remained pretty constant. Who won. Who lost. How badly will my team get beat in the play-offs.

It also created the adoption of new sports like e-sports for so many since they could continue in a world where other sports couldn’t.

What has changed forever is that sports became viewer-first experiences. Most broadcasts are created as a secondary experience to being there. No longer. In a world where we can’t rely on ticket sales and don’t have the freedom to change a venue to fit fans’ needs, the broadcast becomes that much more important. I think these changes are permanent.

Never again will anyone want to be in a situation where a global event can so drastically alter their business. Advertising is one of those areas that will have to adjust to fit the times. 

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Tell us what you mean by non-intrusive ads, and how they work towards better customer experience. 

How often are the ads that play longer than the video you’ve gone to watch? I would imagine, pretty frequently.

When this happens 84 per cent of people will leave the video, 65 per cent will skip immediately, and 25 per cent will block ads entirely. In all three scenarios the audience leaves unsatisfied, the publisher doesn’t earn a nickel, and the advertiser has spent millions to reach an unwilling audience.

By creating a customer-first experience that allows them to watch the content and receive a relevant advertisement to what they are watching, it provides utility in a way they can control.

When the experience is improved, we have seen every metric rise from watch time to click through rates. 

How does On-Stream’s model use AI to better understand video content and align brand messaging?

Through our patent-pending technology we are understanding the connections between what is on screen in any given moment across multiple video channels and the ad being served. We can therefore use AI to improve upon the moments, formats, and messages that yield the best results.

What we have seen prior to this point is a world where companies tried to tackle this problem without having a deep understanding of the content itself. All these ads did was become the problem they were trying to solve. 

Some of the biggest challenges for marketers with regard to video advertising has been measuring ROI, ad blocking and unclear purchase paths.

Yes. It is also a myth that video advertising is just for branding. This myth persists because the video ad message has been disassociated from the content. You may have reached an audience you believe purchases your product, but lost the utility in it.

We do not need to know the age and gender of a viewer to know that if they are watching a golf tutorial video, they are interested in golf. They’ll very likely be interested in purchasing golf products.

Why do ads get blocked? Simply, they are seen as an obstacle to what we want and not a solution. This is where on-stream can shine.

Also Read: Using AI for Video Marketing

What’s in it for the publishers?

Their most valuable asset is their audience. They want to speak to them, entertain them and engage them. It is hard to do that when a third-party introduces themselves into the relationship in a way the audience rejects.

Through the use of on-stream and hopefully down the road a reduced dependence on pre-roll, publishers will see more people watching content for longer. We are already seeing this across many of our publishers.

Today we are an incremental revenue stream, but in time they will see that by replacing pre-roll altogether they will ultimately make more money through a better experience.