People really don't like pre-roll ads, and other insights into advertising in 2017 from Mary Meeker's deck

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Web video advertising is exploding. But that doesn't mean people like all those pre-roll ads.

In fact, the only thing people dislike more than pre-rolls are those universally reviled mobile pop-up ads. That's according to the annual Internet Trends slide deck released by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Mary Meeker at the Code Conference on Wednesday.

According to Meeker, based on a survey of web users, 80% of people dislike pre-roll ads. In addition, 81% dislike mobile app pop-up ads (i.e. those ads that hijack your phone's screen). That's not the company you want to keep as an advertiser. And that probably explains why Facebook has been so adamantly opposed to running pre-roll ads on its videos.

That said, it's not as though any of the ad types Meeker's report cited scored particularly high in research studies. Mobile app reward ads (ads in which advertisers give people stuff) were only disliked by 32% of respondents.

Skippable pre-roll ads were viewed positively by 51% of people, indicating that people want control of their web viewing experiences.

Among the other noteworthy ad-related points in Meeker's massive presentation:

  • There's some good news on the ad blocking front. Even though ad blocking continues to grow on a macro level, just 1% of people in the US use mobile ad blockers, according to Meeker. And mobile advertising is where the growth is.
  • Advertisers increasingly want ads that are targeted to users via powerful algorithms and data, and ideally ads that facilitate transactions. This won't surprise anyone who's been tracking Facebook and Google's increased digital ad dominance.
  • Yet that's not exactly encouraging for traditional creative executives who want to make artful ads aimed at the masses. As Meeker puts it in one slide: "Advertising Inefficiency=Increasingly Exposed by Data."

Amazon Chicago bookstore magazines Daniel McMahon/Business Insider It's not all books: Magazine lovers will find a decent selection of titles.

Time spent with media may (or may not) be out of whack with ad budget allocations

Advertisers continue to spend a lot on print ads relative to the time spent with the medium: Meeker's report says that the average person spends 4% of their time with print media while advertisers still spend 12% of budgets in print.

Meanwhile, Meeker notes that people spend 28% of their time with mobile media while brands are spending 21% of their budgets on the medium. That presents a $16 billion opportunity in the US alone, says Meeker.

However, that point does not take into account two factors:

  • First, a lot of time spent with mobile media is on communications (texting, sending Snaps, etc.). Interrupting people when they are talking to their friends is not exactly the best vehicle for advertising.
  • Second, mobile media consumption is often driven by fleeting, feed-driven interactions. Advertisers may not assign the same value to this type of engagement, particularly for image-driven messaging compared to traditional magazines, where people tend to spend longer chunks of focused attention, for example. For those that still read magazines, print ads are actually effective.
In other words, the budget allocations may not be so out of whack.

You can read Meeker's full presentation on the state of the web in 2017 right here.

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