OPA commissioned a study of pre-roll advertising, and based on how the results are being presented, it would be very tempting to conclude that you know, what, pre-roll is OK after all.
But here’s the cautionary note: In the early days of pop-up ads, marketers considered them effective because they drove brand awareness and click-throughs.
But few legitimate publishers allow poppers on their sites these days. Why? Because they irritate the hell out users. And their irritation factor eventually meant they were ineffective.
Previous studies found that pre-roll is irritating to users.
Internet trends point toward non-disruptive advertising (such as relevant text ads) as the most effective means to bring businesses and consumers together, while disruptive models lose traction over time (consider the decline of the lowly rotating gif banner).
The danger of pre-roll is that it could create a disincentive for viewers to watch a publisher’s video offerings. I know I’ve personally declined to watch some newspaper videos recently because I didn’t want to be bother with the pre-roll.
Newspaper sites can’t afford hinder audience growth. Using pre-roll is a risky proposition.