The Year we say Goodbye to Autoplay Video with Sound

2017 was a big year for mobile advertising. It seemed like every month something new was happening within our industry that pushed us to rethink how we do things and start evaluating new and creative ways to captivate the people beyond the screen. And right now, it doesn’t look like 2018 is slowing down. According to AdAge “2018 is the year autoplay video with sound dies”.  So we decided to dig a little deeper into what’s actually happening, why and what does it really mean for all of us?  

What is happening?
Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari and other browsers will start blocking autoplay video with sound in one of their upcoming updates.

Why is this happening?
Coalition for Better Ads surveyed 25,000 people in the U.S. and abroad , where it was unanimously agreed that ads that autoplay video with sound are STRONGLY DISLIKED

So what does this really mean?
Besides the obvious fact that users don’t like intrusive ads, we were intrigued by what these updates would actually do! We downloaded Chrome 64 Beta to experiment with the new autoplay limitations, and see for ourselves. What we found was that on Mobile Android/iOS all video autoplay was blocked completely, whether audio was included with the unit or not. This may be because it was still in Beta mode, or this may just be how the roll-out will happen. We can’t say for sure, but what this does do is let mobile experts, like us, continue to create engaging and effective ad campaigns, that lead users to decide on their own that they WANT to engage with our ad content.

Will this slow down adoption of ad blockers? 
Lisa Purpura, group channel director of media at VML phrased it perfectly: Filtering out autoplay with sound “will not thwart adoption of ad blockers, but the percentage of adoption is still low. Consumers adopting ad blockers want an ad-free experience, not just the removal of some annoying ads. User-initiated videos will replace autoplay with sound — which is what we should be running anyway to ensure the consumer wants to engage with ad content.”

At the end of the day, we are not concerned, and if anything we are embracing it. We pride ourselves on making engaging, innovative and impactful ads.  If this is a priority for your brand, then there is no need for concern. A user choosing to interact with your brand is a much stronger indicator of someone being forced to watch it. Remember pay attention to the metrics that matter