On December 6, 2023, the Acceptable Ads Committee gathered for its 11th board meeting.The topics discussed included: YouTube forcing users to comply with ad walls; upcoming research on user perceptions of sustainability; and, initiatives for 2024.
YouTube Ad Wall Update
The Committee was briefed on YouTube actively forcing users to disable their desired ad blocker to view videos on the site. The Representatives noted that, given YouTube’s scale and Google’s market power, its actions have an impact far beyond its own properties, which can impact both users’ choices concerning their experience and the monetization options available to other publishers. YouTube forcing users to comply with its ad walls could push users to install more drastic ad-blocking solutions that do not support the needs of all stakeholders, as is required for a sustainable and open web.
The Committee will continue to monitor the situation and advocate for users’ rights to a fair and acceptable online experience.
Sustainability research update
The Acceptable Ads Committee has commissioned a wide-ranging study on user perceptions of sustainability in digital media. The Committee was presented with the preliminary results of this study, alongside an explanation of how it built upon the qualitative interview study earlier this year. Results of this study will be published once completed in early 2024, but it is interesting to note that users want the industry to impose standards that will effect positive change, even as they underestimate the impact of online advertising on climate change.
If you are interested in receiving the research report when available, you can sign up to the AAC’s mailing list here.
Initiatives for 2024
The Committee discussed important initiatives for the next year, including those related to sustainability, and how to make the Acceptable Ads experience more valuable to users and industry stakeholders.
Stay tuned for further developments as the AAC continues its mission to foster a sustainable digital media industry that appropriately balances the needs of users with the commercial interests of other stakeholders.