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Online Video Ads Drive Away Millennial Viewers, Says Limelight

Well, this isn't good. While the common wisdom has been that millennials were more tolerant of online video ads, understanding that someone has to pay for that content, a new report says just the opposite.

Millennials video adsThe content delivery network Limelight released the latest version of its State of Online Video report today, and it found that "there is a growing hypersensitivity around ads," with many saying they would abandon videos that have too many ads. When Limelight filtered the data, it found that millennials (young adults) were far more likely to dislike video ads in their content.

The report found that 11.6 percent of all viewers would abandon a video if there was an ad in front of it, while 23.4 percent of millennials would do the same. Millennials were also less tolerant of unskipable ads, but more tolerant of poor quality video.

"Perhaps a better tactic than placing an ad before the video is to show some content, thereby creating value, and then display an advertisement at a natural break," Limelight says.

Millennials are leading the move to online video-viewing. Limelight found a strong jump in the number of millennials who watch more than 10 hours of online video each week (19.3 percent, compared to 15.7 percent in April). Additionally, only 28.0 percent of millennials don't subscribe to an over-the-top (OTT) service, compared to 48.1 percent of older adults.

The report also looked at how people are watching online video. While tech sites give a lot of attention to set-top boxes, game consoles are still the most common way for viewers to stream online video to the living room. Over 43 percent of those surveyed used either a Microsoft Xbox or Sony PS4 to stream video, with the Xbox the more popular option. Over 41 percent used a best-selling set-top box or stick (a Roku device, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, or Amazon Fire TV stick), and over 30 percent used a connected TV. Over 28 percent of those surveyed didn't use any of the given options.

Compared with responses given in Limelight's April 2015 report, the percentage of people using set-top devices rose significantly and the percentage using consoles rose by a few points. The percentage of people using connected TVs, however, declined slightly, showing that add-on devices are a more attractive option to most online viewers.

Survey data comes from a third-party company which questioned adults in the U.S., Canada, U.K, and Australia. For more stats on online video viewing, download the full report for free (no registration required).

Troy Dreier's article first appeared on OnlineVideo.net

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