Fairfax: We now recognise some people find autoplay video intrusive and we’re dropping it

Fairfax Media is to drop its controversial use of autoplay video.

Fairfax Digital’s commercial director of media Ed Harrison told Mumbrella: “We’ll be doing it over the next few months. We’ll be moving to exciting new video formats.”

Fairfax Media has previously argued that autoplay videos were welcomed by most users.

Last year Fairfax Digital’s MD of media Pippa Leary said: “What’s amazing is 75% of people who come to the site watch those videos to completion. We test it constantly. We ask them those questions – overwhelmingly they come back and say no, we prefer to stop it.”

But last month media agency UM announced a ban on buying ads against autoplay after its own survey suggested widespread user dissatisfaction.

The issue concerns agencies who were concerned that videos were starting without users initiating it, meaning they would potentially have scrolled down and would not even see the video – and accompanying ad.

Harrison said: “Six months is a long time in the video space and things change rapidly.”

He added: “It’s fair to say that our discussions with agencies helped shape our thoughts.

“We recognise that there’s a group of people who found it an intrusive experience.”

Harrison said that the issue of autorefreshing pages was a different one, that would be resolved once the company moves to a new content management system “in the coming months or longer”. However, he said that most advertisers do not buy ads on autorefreshed pages on a CPM basis.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.