I get why a marketer would want to buy pre-roll ads on videos. People will sit thru your ad to get to content they’ve told you they want.
To some extent, I also get why a marketer would want to buy pre-roll ads on news videos. That’s generally time sensitive content a person REALLY wants, so they have a higher threshold of pain to watch your ad.
BUT – and it’s a Sir Mix-A-Lot sized BUT – if there are no controls in place, then your ad becomes the annoying thing that is keeping someone from watching something they care about. Your ad becomes the opportunistic and sleazy type of thing that makes someone not want to be part of your community.
Now, I know Luminosity is a great company. They have a product that really is trying to do good in the world. I’ve played with their app. I’m not sure I’m any smarter for it, but I appreciate their effort. I genuinely believe they are a good company.
BUT, here is their ad, stopping me from being able to read about a fatal mudslide that is affecting my community. In a more perfect advertising world, either the Luminosity media buyer or CNN web producer would have thought to disassociate their ads from devastating news. But they didn’t, so you get this.
Moral of the story: Auto-play is evil. Don’t do it.