Online video consumption is on the rise and many brands are turning to online and mobile video advertising. Referred to ‘the net big thing’, entrepreneurs and investors see the video ad insertion potential in monitization opportunities. At the same time, an increasing number of users has started using ad blockers on their devices. Many companies don’t know how to track how many users block their ads and don’t have a strategy for dealing with the issue. Today, publishers are apprehensive about what to do next. Some of the strategies involve several strategies:
User-friendly reminders to more aggressive options, such as blocking content to users who turn on ad blockers.
Paywalls, which allow Internet users to access webpages’ content with a paid subscription. According to wikipedia, there are “hard” and “soft” paywalls in use, where a “Hard” paywall allows minimal (or even no-access) to content without having a subscription. A “soft” paywall has several models and it enables more flexibility in what users can view without subscribing. For example, allow a user to only view certain content or offer a limited number of articles or content pages per month.
Combination of the above or exploring new models, altogether.
In the last year, Yahoo’s search ad revenues have been declining, measured in number of ‘ads sold’ and the ‘average price per ad click’. Recently, Yahoo has been testing full-display auto-play video ads which run on top of users’ Internet searches. This move is in an effort to encourage brand advertisers to buy search ads and for search advertisers to buy video-type ads. Although the videos run without sound, users are unlikely to welcome them. In this case, Yahoo sets an example of how the user experience is likely to deteriorate. The video ads in the tests are pushed on desktop search result pages, yet Yahoo hasn’t confirmed whether they will launch the technology into production nor if the videos would run on its mobile online searches (either on Yahoo’s mobile website or in its mobile apps.)
According to the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo’s Q3 earnings fell short of the projected $1.26 billion and were actually a total of $1.23 billion. Yahoo search deals in 2015 were with its two competitors: Google and Microsoft. Last month, Yahoo expanded beyond utilizing Bing for search ads and added a new search model to increase revenues by engaging with Google for web and image search services and search ads. Google has an well managed and efficient ad infrastructure and the deal enables Yahoo to get a piece of ads revenue with Google. The 3-year agreement gives Yahoo the flexibility to determine when to use Google’s organic results and ads on both desktop and mobile platforms. Yahoo already has an agreement with the search services provided by Microsoft. The extended agreement with Microsoft (signed April, 2015) gives Yahoo increased flexibility to enhance the search experience on both desktop and mobile platforms. Yahoo will continue to serve Bing ads and search results for a majority of its desktop search traffic.
1. For more information about Yahoo’s search ad business, click on the Advertising Age link and view the charts (Number of ads sold versus Average price per ad click)
2. For the Yahoo-Google Search Advertising Deal click here.
3. Read more about Yahoo’s and Microsoft’s search relationship, April 2015:
4. Yahoo’s third quarter 2015 earning results is here.