Content Marketing

76% of UK consumers willing to consume ads in exchange for free content

76% of UK consumers willing to consume ads in exchange for free content
Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

Seedtag, a specialist in contextual advertising in EMEA and LATAM, has released the findings from its survey, conducted by international data analysis and market research firm YouGov, into consumers’ privacy concerns and attitudes towards advertising across Europe. 

The UK was most likely to support an ad funded model for online content (76%), significantly higher than Italy (56%), France (52%) and Spain (51%). The disparity in behaviours demonstrates the need for a diverse strategy depending on region as brands can take advantage of the fact that the majority of consumers are still willing to be served ads.  

More than half of UK respondents are already taking measures to protect their privacy online and restrict tracking by cookies. 52% of UK consumers either adjust the scope of the storage of cookies or deny cookies outright when online. This is in line with their counterparts in France (59%), Italy (58%), Spain and the Netherlands (both 54%) and Germany (49%). Consumers also adjusted their cookie settings based on the website they were visiting. 

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • 82% of Europeans feel positive or very positive about brands ending their use of personal data for targeting
  • Consumers are very conscious of taking measures to protect their data, particularly in relation to data collection by cookies; 53% reject cookies on certain websites
  • Consumers are generally happy to view ads in exchange for free editorial content; 58% of participants chose hybrid or ad supported models instead of paying for a subscription, paying per article or receiving a limited number of free articles
  • 53% of consumers felt that ads embedded within high quality content were more likely to grab their attention and half of participants considered creativity and visual content among their top two most important factors in the recall value and appeal of an advertisement
  • 64% of these respondents felt very positively about brands whose ads were embedded in content that interested them

The survey targeted 3,000 internet users across 6 countries – Spain, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, highlighting their privacy concerns and preference in how they wanted to be targeted online. It also focused on what they value most about the online advertising that they are exposed to, and the context in which it is displayed. In order to ensure that respondents were representative of the real-life population, Seedtag’s expert research team analysed the ages in comparison to the gender and region.

Speaking on the survey results, Paul Thompson, UK country manager, Seedtag, said: “Consumers are increasingly taking control over their own data and privacy expectations. The research has demonstrated that consumers understand what they want and expect from brands and publishers. Different countries have dramatically different requirements and both brands and publishers need to understand this and tailor the approach depending on the region.  This is a huge opportunity, consumers seem to support the move to a cookieless environment, so as an industry we need to look for alternatives that don’t require the need for personal data.”

Since its launch in 2014, Seedtag has pioneered the use of AI and machine learning to create contextual AI technology, LIZ©, and built a privacy-first advertising solution in the market which is currently the leading contextual solution in EMEA and LATAM. With its recent fundraise of €250M, the company plans to use the funds to further scale LIZ as well as expand its innovation and global operations. 

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

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