Consumers Find Web Ads More Relevant To Them Than Social Ads

Consumers spend more time on the open web than on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Amazon, according to a new report from OpenX and The Harris Pill entitled “The Open Web vs. The Walled Gardens.” OpenX defines “open web” as any online property, website or app not owned by a major technology company.

The data shows a clear disconnect between where brands spend ad dollars and where consumers spend their time—Facebook and Google account for nearly two-thirds of all digital ad spend despite consumers spending just one-third of the time on walled gardens. 

Consumers are increasingly spending more time on the internet than on walled gardens, and the research shows this gap will continue to widen. Over a third (40 percent) of consumers say their open web usage increased in the last 12 months while over 30 percent say they use Facebook less today than they did a year ago. Thirty-one percent of consumers say their time spent on Facebook declined, followed by 25 percent who said the same about Instagram and 17 percent for YouTube.

The top reason consumers spent less time on Facebook, Instagram or Amazon is they felt there was a lack of relevant content whereas consumers who say they browsed the open web less attribute it to wanting to decrease time spent on their digital devices in general.

In addition to spending more time on the internet, how consumers use the internet is changing. Those who reported increased usage of the internet are curious and want to learn more compared to those on Facebook and Instagram who reported “zoning out and not paying attention.”

A majority of respondents (74 percent) trust news stories on the internet and apps more than ones on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. Similarly, respondents reported having a negative sentiment toward Facebook—forty percent say the platform leaves them feeling unhappy, upset or unsatisfied, which is more than double those that say the same about the internet.

When looking to learn about businesses and more products to buy, 80 percent of consumers turn to the web whereas YouTube is the top choice when people are seeking how-to information. Facebook and Instagram lead when people are looking for information on friends and family.

Half (52 percent) of respondents said that an Amazon ad would lead to an immediate purchase followed by the open web (23 percent). In comparison, just 11 percent said a Facebook ad would make them buy something, followed by eight percent for Instagram and five percent on YouTube. 

When given the choice, consumers would rather view ads than pay for content as 68 percent say they would likely not pay for the sites they currently use if all the sites and apps charged for access and were ad-free.

Findings are based on answers from an online survey distributed to 2,000 US consumers aged 18 and older, from January 6-14, 2020. The Harris Poll conducted the survey on behalf of OpenX. 

Terms Of Service & Privacy Policy

1. Terms

By accessing this website, you are agreeing to be bound by these website Terms and Conditions of Use, all applicable laws and regulations, and agree that you are responsible for compliance with any applicable local laws. If you do not agree with any of these terms, you are prohibited from using or accessing this site. The materials contained in this website are protected by applicable copyright and trademark law.

2. Use License

  1. Permission is granted to temporarily download one copy of the materials (information or software) on [a]listdaily’s website for personal, non-commercial transitory viewing only. This is the grant of a license, not a transfer of title, and under this license you may not:
    1. modify or copy the materials;
    2. use the materials for any commercial purpose, or for any public display (commercial or non-commercial);
    3. attempt to decompile or reverse engineer any software contained on [a]listdaily’s website;
    4. remove any copyright or other proprietary notations from the materials; or
    5. transfer the materials to another person or “mirror” the materials on any other server.
  2. This license shall automatically terminate if you violate any of these restrictions and may be terminated by [a]listdaily at any time. Upon terminating your viewing of these materials or upon the termination of this license, you must destroy any downloaded materials in your possession whether in electronic or printed format.

3. Disclaimer

  1. The materials on [a]listdaily’s website are provided “as is”. [a]listdaily makes no warranties, expressed or implied, and hereby disclaims and negates all other warranties, including without limitation, implied warranties or conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement of intellectual property or other violation of rights. Further, [a]listdaily does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the use of the materials on its Internet website or otherwise relating to such materials or on any sites linked to this site.

4. Limitations

In no event shall [a]listdaily or its suppliers be liable for any damages (including, without limitation, damages for loss of data or profit, or due to business interruption,) arising out of the use or inability to use the materials on [a]listdaily’s Internet site, even if [a]listdaily or a [a]listdaily authorized representative has been notified orally or in writing of the possibility of such damage. Because some jurisdictions do not allow limitations on implied warranties, or limitations of liability for consequential or incidental damages, these limitations may not apply to you.

5. Revisions and Errata

If there are any technical, typographical, or photographic errors, [a]listdaily’s Editorial team will make sure any errors are fixed within 48 hours of reporting. To report an inaccuracy or error, please contact

6. Links

The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by [a]listdaily of the site. Use of any such linked website is at the user’s own risk.

7. Site Terms of Use Modifications

[a]listdaily may revise these terms of use for its website at any time without notice. By using this website you are agreeing to be bound by the then current version of these Terms and Conditions of Use.

8. Governing Law

Any claim relating to [a]listdaily’s website shall be governed by the laws of the State of California without regard to its conflict of law provisions.

General Terms and Conditions applicable to Use of a Website.

Privacy Policy

Your privacy is very important to us. Accordingly, we have developed this Policy in order for you to understand how we collect, use, communicate and disclose and make use of personal information. The following outlines our privacy policy.

  • Before or at the time of collecting personal information, we will identify the purposes for which information is being collected.
  • We will collect and use of personal information solely with the objective of fulfilling those purposes specified by us and for other compatible purposes, unless we obtain the consent of the individual concerned or as required by law.
  • We will only retain personal information as long as necessary for the fulfillment of those purposes.
  • We will collect personal information by lawful and fair means and, where appropriate, with the knowledge or consent of the individual concerned.
  • Personal data should be relevant to the purposes for which it is to be used, and, to the extent necessary for those purposes, should be accurate, complete, and up-to-date.
  • We will protect personal information by reasonable security safeguards against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification.
  • We will make readily available to customers information about our policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.

We are committed to conducting our business in accordance with these principles in order to ensure that the confidentiality of personal information is protected and maintained. Any information you provide will not be shared with third-parties and will only be used by Ayzenberg’s network.