Feb 13, 2018 - Economy

Consumers abandon long, slow-loading content

Consumers are abandoning content that takes too long to load or is too long, according to a new Adobe Consumer Content Survey.

Reproduced from the 2018 Adobe Consumer Content Survey; Chart: Axios Visuals
Reproduced from the 2018 Adobe Consumer Content Survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: Consumption habits are being shaped by web platforms with expert engineering that are designed to maintain consumer attention and eyeballs. Less sophisticated consumer experiences, like slow websites or crappy apps, are being abandoned or intentionally avoided by consumers.

Some of the bigger players in technology are working to weed out some of the bad experiences from the internet to make the overall web experiences better for everyone.

  • Google will roll out its long-awaited ad blocker in its Chrome web browser next week, which will filter out low-quality ads based on third-party standards.
  • Flipboard said earlier this year that it will reward publishers with better experiences by giving them more visibility on its platform.
  • Apple's Safari browser has begun blocking autoplay videos, and it includes a feature that stops ad retargeting based on user web history.
  • The EU passed a sweeping data reform package that will go into effect next year that will make it harder for ad tech companies to collect data to target consumers with intrusive ads.
  • Google and Facebook have also tried to speed up load times of articles with features like Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) and Instant Articles.

Some ad tech companies that base their businesses around ad retargeting, as well as other technologies that are sometimes deemed as intrusive, are seeing their businesses take a hit.

  • Criteo, once the holy grail of advertising retargeting, has seen its stock tumble over the past year and said it expects Apple's new Safari ad-blocker to cut its revenue by roughly 22%.

Consumers have long indicated that they are fed up with bad web experiences by installing ad blockers and spending more time with platforms, instead of standalone websites.

  • Americans spend seven times more of their mobile time using apps rather than the web. Google and Facebook own eight of the top 10 most-used mobile apps in the U.S., per comScore.
  • Nearly one third of internet users in the U.S. are expected to use ad blockers this year, according to estimates by eMarketer.
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