25 May 2012

Why Auto-Playing Music And Video Is Bad For Online Marketing

How many times have you visited a website only to be met with audio or video that begins playing automatically, blaring out of the speakers that you hadn’t realized were turned up so loud? The good news is that you’re not alone in your hatred of this tactic, but the bad news is that many people still insist on doing this as a part of their online marketing campaigns.

Automatically playing music and video are bad for a number of reasons, the main ones being that they can disturb the people around the visitor (especially if they are accessing your website in a library or on public transport) and that nothing will send visitors running from your site faster. If the whole point of having an online marketing campaign is to attract visitors to your business, why would you do something that is more likely to send them running in the other direction?

If you need more convincing to take away that auto-play function your online marketing campaign has been using for the last decade, then hopefully the following reasons should do it:

  • None of the commercially successful websites (such as Amazon, Facebook, eBay and Google) do it because they realized it was a bad idea.
  • Not everyone will have the same taste in music as you; for every person who thinks the music in your audio or video is awesome, there’ll be another who cannot stand it.
  • You could be drawing attention to yourself if you haven’t paid for the rights to use that audio or video. Do you really want a lawsuit on your hands?

While it was once believed that automatically playing music and videos was an effective way to draw attention to an online marketing campaign, it is more than clear today that this simply does the opposite. Give visitors to your site the option to watch your marketing video or listen to your audio campaign – don’t force it on them.