Are You That Person Who Clicks On Ads?

Admit it: you're that person. You're the one who spends over 23 hours watching online video every month. You're the one that is driving the online video market to $37 billion by 2017. You are the 83.3%.

Are you the same person who clicks on ads? The same person who is clicking the online advertising market into $100 billion territory in 2013?

Come on: is it you?

There's some evidence to suggest that the two go together. Most online video isn't the BBC soccer news stream that !%!%!% auto-plays whenever I visit a soccer news site (which, I will admit, is every 3.2 seconds - hey, someone needs to keep tabs on just how bad my Arsenal is). As a recent comScore report showcases, it's entertainment-oriented video on YouTube and Facebook, primarily, that people watch:

Credit: comScore, February 2013 Credit: comScore, February 2013

What about online advertising? According to a 2011 WebTrends report on Facebook advertising, click-through rates (CTRs) are puny for things like healthcare and financial services ads, but for media and entertainment or tabloids? Lots of clicks:

Credit: Webtrends Credit: Webtrends

Admit it: you're "that guy" who sends around the funny cat videos. You're the one watching the blurb on LIndsay Lohan being in rehab (again).

It's you!

Or maybe it's your parents, as Facebook ad click-throughs skew to the 50+ crowd. Which is interesting, since the online video generation definitely trends younger. Perhaps those who watch a lot of video aren't the same people who click on all the ads, but rather a devoted group of clickers?

There's some evidence that this is the case. While comScore finds that 83.3% of all Americans watch online video, Criteo reports that just 20% of online browsers account for 50% of click-throughs:

Source: Criteo 2012 Source: Criteo 2012

Nor do such people stop with innocent clicking. Once they click, they buy. A lot. According to Criteo, they're 3 times more likely to buy than non-clickers. My hunch? It's the Boomer demographic, which controls 70% of U.S. wealth, that clicks on all those ads. This is a bit frightening, as it may mean that the Internet is being subsidized by a fading group. Presumably, clever advertisers will figure out how to get the young'uns to click and buy, too.

Or maybe they'll just get older and click more.

Personally, I don't think I've ever clicked on an online ad (Adblock Plus keeps me from even seeing them anymore, bless its soul), but I'm grateful that someone does, whatever their age. My walk down memory lane, watching old Duran Duran videos? You or perhaps someone older paid for it with their clicks. That Facebook service my friends still frequent? Others pay for that, too. Others' click-and-buy mentality keeps the Internet running.

So, thank you, whoever you are. Please click more.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.