New research by CloudSense, an international cloud technology company, has found that online advertising continues to be a necessary component of the business model commonly adopted by online publications and websites.

Of the research pool, 74% are currently not paying to access apps or other sites used for consumption of digital media, with 46% explicitly stating their preference to ‘pay’ for content access by seeing advertising around it. Some don’t even mind having to view an ad prior to being granted access to their content of choice, as seen with YouTube’s TrueView advertising format.

In sum, the online advertising model is becoming largely accepted as a feature of free content delivery. Whereas younger audiences (16-24 years old) are more inclined towards this attitude due to the larger variety of media platforms they frequent, there is no dramatic generation gap in attitudes towards the acceptance of such advertising: great news for the majority of players within the media industry.

On the other end of the spectrum, a mere 12% of the 4,000 consumers surveyed by CloudSense across the UK and US, are willing to pay to have no ads. This figure doesn’t lend well to pay-wall protected media sites such as newspapers, whose business model can only thrive if more and more consumers become intolerant of seeing advertising around their content.

Consumers do, however, remain somewhat uncomfortable when it comes to behavioural advertising and retargeting, with 51% not wanting advertisers to know more about them for the serving of more personalised ads.

Richard Britton, CloudSense CEO explains: “If the younger generation in particular aren’t paying for content, then it’s essential that publishers are able to profit from advertising. It is now more important than ever for publishers to attract advertisers relevant to the audience, provide a positive user experience and ultimately, this will give publishers the ammunition to sell more advertising.

“This may involve a radical transformation of purchasing models and the infrastructure surrounding billing and payment and a need to redefine the approach to ad-selling to meet consumer expectations. The days of inefficient siloed print and digital ad-selling need to be left behind to survive in today’s industry. In other words, these firms need to rebuild to achieve the flexibility required for the digital future.”

Muniba Tariq

Muniba Tariq