Stop with the auto-play videos

Enough, already. We’re leaving en masse.

julian rogers
Dec 19, 2016 · 4 min read

Talk about a disincentive. There are many things that annoy when engaging with content on the web. The top of the list: Your auto-play videos. I’m using ad blockers to kill your video.

You left me no choice. In my effort to reduce the mounds of clutter that screams for my attention on most any given web page, I have employed the use of ad blocker software. Free software, mind you.

Is that fair? Perhaps not. But I have to do it anyway, to protect my sanity. And also as a stake in the ground for respectful communication between content creators and audiences. As a professional communicator, I believe we should get paid for our work. That includes on-page ads. I can deal with that, to a point. What is over the line? Your videos.

I hate your #$*!ing auto-play videos.

I hate your video = I hate you + your associates

Because of your intrusive video, I have to keep the sound off on my computer. I know, statistically speaking, I’m in the minority, but I don’t want to watch your video. But there are more of us out there than you think. You’re losing us.

I came for the visual content that I can see and read. I will digest it when I can, at my pace and opportunity. Not. When. You. Demand. But if you treat me respectfully, I’ll observe your ad on the side along the way. But if you blast me with a video, I’m out.

I don’t have the time or opportunity to digest everything that hits me. I saw your headline. I was intrigued. I opened it in a new tab. I’ll get to it when I can get to it. Unless you blast me with a video. I don’t want your video. And if you force it on me, I don’t want you. Not just this time. For good.

You are the annoying party goer who not only talks about himself only, but jumps up and down, waving your arms with every shout.

Your video is the reason why ad blocking software is a default set up on my browsers. Because here is the great bonus for me: Ad blocking software stops your video from playing. (Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” should be playing in your head right now. It is in mine.)

True, I still have to keep my sound off. Your cloying, annoying, unwanted video will still play sound. If I were to leave my sound on, I would have to hunt through my open browser tabs to find the offending page, shut if off, and make a mental note to never do business with any advertiser that associates with your content.

Now? I don’t have to watch your video. If I keep my sound off, I’m not blasted with annoying, attention-demanding video and I can read your content. When I want. It’s what I came her for.

Why do I have to fight you just to do that?

There are better ways to communicate with online audiences. What do you recommend?

© julian rogers

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Julian Rogers is the editor and publisher of The Hit Job, Marketing Communications Leadership and is the owner of Juju Eye Communications.

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julian rogers

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Maker of words and other annoyances. Communicator for hire. Owner of Juju Eye Communications + publisher of The Hit Job. Twitter: (@thejujueye).

Marketing Communications Leadership

Real takes on marketing + communications + leadership