Financial Times: People find mobile ads ‘intrusive’ and ‘distracting’

Like most publishers, the Financial Times is trying to crack mobile.

The newspaper publisher executed a pair of studies recently that found that while all age demographics are adopting mobile as a news platform, they’re not happy with the quality of mobile ads, rating them below print and desktop.

According to a study it did with 1,300 readers, print still commands long read times, with each person spending an average 32 minutes. Tablet is next with 20 minutes of read time, followed by smartphones at 11 minutes, and laptop/desktop at 16 minutes a day.

Readers graded smartphone ads poorly, with “intrusive” and “distracting” listed as the words to describe them. Half of respondents to a survey the FT conducted with Quantcast said mobile ads are more intrusive than desktop, although 37 percent of them said they’d be more influenced if the mobile ads they saw were more creative. Even more popular were personally relevant ads, with 33 percent said they’d be more likely to buy from a brand that had served them only personally-relevant ads.

Banner ads and in-stream native ads were relatively on a par in readers minds. Just under 40 percent said banner ads were the least intrusive, while 30 percent said the same for native ads.

Smartphones lend themselves to shorter content due to the screen size and the fact people are often on the move: 71 percent of respondents said they use news websites and apps to scan articles and news stories, though half of them also said they like to read long-form editorial on their smartphones.

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