How Does Ad-Blocking Affect OTT Advertising?

OTT platforms continue to be one of the most popular ways for consumers to access video media. For advertisers, it's important to understand the limitations of OTT advertising so ad campaigns can be successful. Learn about the unique challenges and solutions for effective advertising.

How Does Ad-Blocking Affect OTT Advertising?

Some consumers who don't want to see ads on certain streaming platforms have the option of using an ad-blocker, which is a form of software that prevents ads from appearing on websites. Users who access an OTT platform via a computer, tablet, or smartphone may install an ad-blocker; on the other hand, an ad-blocker may not be available for gaming consoles and smart TVs.
Ad-blockers can have a devastating impact on an ad campaign. Since ads are blocked, this prevents the content creator or platform from earning revenue from the ad, as well as stopping the ad from reaching the target audience. On a large scale, this can be detrimental to the OTT ecosystem for ad-supported subscriptions and services.

How Is an Ad-Free Subscription Different?

Many OTT platforms offer subscription plans with ad-free perks. Depending on the platform, the promise of an ad-free viewing experience is enough for consumers to pay for a monthly subscription. However, an ad-free subscription doesn't necessarily hurt the OTT platform. Instead of the audience creating revenue by watching ads, they pay for a subscription of equal revenue value. By contrast, an ad blocker takes away revenue from both the platform and the advertiser.

How Can Advertisers Get Around Ad-Blockers?

In general, most ad-blocking software works by using a program that can detect the communication between the video player on an OTT platform and the ad server that is running the ad. In other words, some ad blockers work by tracking the request for client-side ad integration. However, if you use a different method to run ads, most ad-blocking software will not work.
Specifically, ad-blocking programs have a difficult time blocking server-side ad integration. This method of video ads enables the advertisement to be stitched directly into the video content when the video is made and uploaded, which means there is no invasive communication for an ad blocker to detect and block.

Consider Blocking Ad Block Users

Some OTT platforms that are available on devices where ad blockers can be installed can create a policy that prevents users who use ad blockers from accessing video content. Hulu is a great example of an OTT platform with this policy.
For subscribers who have ad-friendly subscriptions, Hulu does not show video content if an ad blocker is used on the device running the video player. Since Hulu relies on ad revenue to offer low-cost subscriptions, this policy is an effective strategy. Subscribers can keep the ad blocker software on their devices, but they must enable ads to run on the platform.
While ad-blocking software can keep websites neat for users, this software can present a problem for OTT platforms that rely on ad revenue. Fortunately, correctly formatting and placing ads can get around ad blocker software. Contact Lightcast for more information about how to run successful ads on OTT platforms.