Marketer’s simple answer to adblockers: ‘Make ads less irritating’

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald 27 NOVEMBER 2017


Online marketers are moving away from trying to design work-arounds for adblocking technology. Photo: Eddie Jim


Advertisers and adblockers have gone head to head, but experts say the focus of marketing companies is now moving away from technological work arounds to stopping consumers from wanting to download them in the first place.

Christopher Stenhouse, chief executive at Switch Media, warned technology would continue to be neck and neck, and so marketers should focus on making their advertisements more palatable to consumers rather than looking for work-arounds.

“Adblocking is hard to do on anything other than a laptop. If ads are less irritating, people are less inclined to install them,” he said.

And making them less annoying for video streaming consumers is not as complicated as it seems.

“Two to three ad breaks for an hour of content [is seen as acceptable],” he said.

Research by Stable Research of 1000 consumers on behalf of Switch Media found 28 per cent of consumers would only tolerate poor ad insertion if it was something they were “desperate” to watch.

Six out of 10 people surveyed preferred a single longer advertisement as opposed to several shorter ones.

And one in five surveyed were totally opposed to advertising, while 43 per cent didn’t “like” ads but were willing to tolerate them.

Some online marketers are currently avoiding technology blocking advertisements by using server-side ad insertion, Mr Stenhouse said.

This stitches the advertisements into the video content being presented, making it harder for computer programs to differentiate between the video content someone is trying to watch and the video advertisement.

It also stops buffering from happening on the advertisement – a key turn off for consumers, Mr Stenhouse said.

“It gets around adblockers and it feels much more broadcast-like … you can use nice transitions, fades and make it a better experience for the viewer.”


“If ads are less irritating, people are less inclined to install [adblockers].”

Christopher Stenhouse, Switch Media


The two major complaints from consumers were buffering on videos and the way they were served advertisements.



Advertising Week APAC director Clive Prosser said the technology was constantly evolving around marketing and advertising tools.

“It will be some businesses’ mission to reduce the impact of ad blockers as much as possible so they can maximise the impact of their digital advertising, while others will see ad blockers as a positive thing, and an opportunity to enhance customer experiences for consumers,” Mr Prosser said.

Marketo senior director of marketing for Asia-Pacific Chris Connell said adblockers evolved due to “generic, irrelevant” advertising, with successful marketers now looking towards highly personalised consumer engagement.

“For these marketing professionals, it’s not about getting around adblockers – it’s about making them unnecessary,” he said.

Ad insertion solution AdEase addresses issues highlighted by recent research

Switch Media worked with Stable Research to commission a body of primary research which explores Australia’s media viewing preferences and consumption habits. See press below for a sneak peak on some initial findings.


Source: Ad insertion placement costing OTT publishers massive revenue, Streaming Media 07 NOVEMBER 2017

Ad insertion placement costing OTT publishers massive revenue


Over the Top (OTT) streaming services offered up by Subscription and Advertising Video on Demand (SVOD & AVOD) companies risk significant revenue seepage as a result of a poor advertising experience, new research has found.

A survey by Stable Research of 1,000 consumers of streamed video content in Australia found 46 per cent  of viewers would switch off as a result of poor ad serving; with a further 28 per cent saying they would only tolerate poor ad insertion if the show were something they were desperate to watch. Only 8 per cent would tolerate poor ad serving.

The research was commissioned by a world leader in OTT streaming technologies, Australian-based Switch Media, which late last year expanded into the US market off the back of keen interest from global OTT players.

Switch Media co-founder and CEO, Christopher Stenhouse, said while streaming services have taken off throughout the world, the research shows that consumers are unhappy with the way advertising is served across the variety of services on offer.

“Four in ten respondents had advertising insertion as one of their major complaints of streaming services,” Mr Stenhouse said.  “The only issue that was cause for greater complaints was buffering.

“The dissatisfaction is something we believe is a universal problem particularly where client-side ad insertion is used. With this insertion method, the latency often results in an ad being served too late or too early.

“Server-side ad insertion, such as our AdEase technology, delivers a seamless, TV-like experience that defeats ad blockers and provides a more reliable play out of complete ads, therefore eliminating much ad-frustration by consumers.

“The research is clear; if consumers are frustrated by the way advertising is inserted, they will switch off and, as a result, broadcasters will be forgoing significant revenue.”

The results – as part of a more comprehensive research study into the consumption of streaming and consumers behaviours to be launched later this year – also showed:

  • Only one-in-five consumers are opposed to advertising being shown on streamed services, with 43 per cent saying while they don’t like advertising, they tolerate it;
  • Most consumers (61 per cent) preferred advertisers to play less but longer advertising as opposed to a number of shorter adverts.

Mr Stenhouse said Switch Media’s breakthrough AdEase technology avoids the need for a client’s ad enabled media to be re-ingested into Switch Media’s system before delivery to the viewer’s device, unlike other server-side solutions in the market.

“AdEase is platform agnostic to where the media is stored and only makes requests for the required media chunks containing the ad break, at time of playback. This saves the customer hours of ingestion time and related costs,” Mr Stenhouse said.

“Unlike other solutions, our customers have the option to integrate our Universal Player with AdEase to provide a seamless integration that can deliver both HLS and DASH technology across multiple platforms, as well as robust analytics.” 

About Switch Media: Switch Media is an Australian company founded in 2006 that is a world leader in delivering online video content for organisations from broadcasters through to government. Its services include content management platforms, app development, and dynamic ad insertion, through to the delivery of video to end users across multiple devices. Its Australian designed and developed video content management solution, coupled with world class technical teams, means Switch can deliver tailored solutions to its clients – anytime, anywhere, any device.

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