Oct 19, 2012

How do you feel about music/video autoplay when a page loads?

We are working on a website for someone who wants to embed a video that autoplays on the landing page. I'm trying to discourage him from going down that road because, one, I hate it when I visit a website and there is suddenly audio playing, especially when I am listening to music, and two, I suspect other people feel the same way. He thinks it will be a great way to introduce visitor to his products/business. Who is right? Is autoplay video an annoyance or an effective marketing tool?


Really can't stand it. In fact, I found this question after googling 'number of people that like autoplay videos'. I haven't found concrete numbers yet, but it is my suspicion very few people appreciate them. And I was only trying to get today's weather forecast, when The Weather Channel blasted me off my chair. I am guessing that from a marketing point of view, it is not so much a turnof as it  is an outright deterrent. In my experience people actively warn each other about sites that have autoplay on them. (i.e. 'AVOID')


Remember My Space, and how people would put music on their page that blared out whenever you visited their page?  Do you ever thinking it was great to hear someone's chosen theme song every time you wanted to look at something?  Yeah, neither did I. 


If the client insists and you have to do it, I suggest making sure that there is a delay before the video starts, and include a prominent pause button so people can avoid it if they want to.  Also, I would let him know that all that video is going to take up bandwidth that he is going to end up paying for.  That might be your most effective point to discourage it.   

I hate it. I generally leave a site as soon as I hear the audio. If it's something I'm really interested in, I'll turn the volume totally down on my computer. But, in general, I don't think it's worth putting up with for most site's content. It's forcing unwanted noise on the visitor, and most people just don't like that.
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