UM boycotts News Limited autoplay video

UM CEO Mat Baxter says the agency will boycott the purchase of preroll advertising on autoplay video on News Limited websites, after the publisher yesterday announced it would introduce autoplay videos from next week.

The decision, by one of Australia’s biggest media agencies, is in line with its existing policy of boycotting preroll on Fairfax websites because of a perceived negative impact on the consumer experience.

This morning Baxter told Mumbrella: “Our policy remains that we are not a big fan of it, and that is the position that we’ve got. We won’t be buying any videos that have autoplay on it.”

“That stance remains in place regardless of the News Limited decision,” said the media buyer who books advertising on behalf a number government agencies, along with brands such as ING Direct, Kmart and McDonald’s Queensland.

It emerged yesterday that News Limited will move to an autoplay function on all its videos, beginning January 29.

“The launch follows a successful trial on adelaidenow, consultation with our commercial partners who want more high value video inventory and feedback from our consumers, who love video content but want to have more control over it,” a News Limited claimed.

“Our auto-play implementation gives consumers that control – they can stop the video, it won’t play if less than 25% of the video player is in view and they can switch autoplay off altogether across our network.”

Baxter commended the company for providing a simpler option for opting out compared to Fairfax.

“At least with News’s roll out they’ve done the courtesy to the consumer of allowing them to turn it off without a password and a login,” said Baxter.

“From a consumer experience point of view it is a big benefit compared with the kind of forced way it has been done on the Fairfax sites but, that said, we still won’t be buying autoplay videos.”

Nic Christensen


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