Judy Sahay

Thought Leaders & Game Changers

The Rise of Online Advertisement

We are all used to television advertisements interrupting our favourite programs with insistent promotions for products, and even if it seems commercial breaks are never ending, businesses are now looking away from television to advertise. As more people head online, companies are looking to shift to a new space to promote their product, with the online audience potentially more receptive to what they’re selling. Spending for online advertising is expected to increase to AUD$54 billion as advertisers come to understand where a huge proportion of the public is really spending their time when they aren’t in front of the television.

This doesn’t mean an end for television advertising, of course. Your reality TV binges will still be punctuated by ad breaks every now and then, with spending set to increase in that sector, too, but the changes will be minute compared to the changes in place for the Internet. Studies show that television advertising is still working for big companies, but they are just missing out on a crucial audience by not reaching out to other sectors.

The changes to consumption come from the rise of smartphones and tablets, Internet-capable technologies that allow access to major streaming services like Netflix and YouTube. These services have made binge watching easy, without the threat of advertisements looming to disrupt your viewing, so it should come as no surprise that viewers are out to avoid the ad. But with the increase in online spending, it looks like advertisers are getting the hint and going digital to keep up with the consumer.

The shift away from television has been coming for some time, with multiple channels launching their own streaming services online. ABC’s iView and Channel 10’s Tenplay allow people the chance to catch up on their viewing at a time that suits them, thus avoiding the ads. And if they aren’t sourcing their entertainment through reputable means, plenty of consumers will resort to downloading content from the web to view later and skip the long advertisements, so it’s no surprise that advertisers are looking to capitalise on the market of web users.

A solid portion of the money to be spent on Internet advertising is set to be targeted at mobile users, with growth set to expand fourfold by 2019 as our attachment to smartphones grows. By then, the expected amount to be spent on mobile ads is a whopping USD$195 billion. This rapid increase is making it less and less likely that you’ll be able to escape the ads by turning to streaming services, who are also starting to employ advertisements at the beginning of each user’s session.

The need for advertising is real for these streaming services, whose function depends on much needed funding they gain from product promotion, and it is often employed in a far more subtle manner than the invasive ads we see on our television on a daily basis. Whilst users turn to means to block ads, many websites are developing ways around this avoidance, such as 8tracks, whose playlist streaming service causes a delay when an ad blocker is enabled, making it harder for users to continue avoiding all forms of advertisement.

With consumers’ ties to digital media set to continue, advertisers won’t be relenting any time soon. More and more money is being pumped into producing advertisements for smartphones than ever before, with even more spending in that sector than there is for desktop and laptop computers. As the game changes with smartphones, advertisers are quick to keep up, so while you might be keen to avoid the ads when you’re watching your favourite show, there will always be an advertisement or two waiting for you on your favourite app or website.

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