The FCC’s repeal of Obama-era net neutrality rules has not been particularly popular, to say the least. In the face of overwhelming public backlash, internet service providers will be able to throttle, block and speed internet traffic according to their whims, which is a problem for marketers, not just citizens.
“Brands will suffer from all sides,” Eric Burgess, vice president of product management at Ayzenberg,” said to AListDaily. “Destroying net neutrality will drive down consumption in general, since it will cost more, naturally allowing for fewer opportunities to reach consumers.”
Editor’s note: AListDaily is the publishing arm of the Ayzenberg Group.
Because ISPs, despite claims to the contrary, can, have and likely will give preferential treatment to network traffic to publishers whom they like, and limit traffic to those they don’t, many websites may be forced to shell out to ensure their content is actually accessible to their audience. This added expense will likely roll downhill to either consumers or advertisers.
This takes control of ad viewability even more out of the hands of ad buyers. Studies by Google indicate that 40 percent of consumers close mobile webpages if they take longer than three seconds to load, meaning that brands may well lose out on ad views from impatient consumers.
In addition to costing marketers more now, the repeal of net neutrality has far-reaching implications for marketing channels in the future.
Despite FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s claims that net neutrality rules stifle innovation, there’s little proof that giving ISPs monopoly control over broadband traffic will lead to advances in online services.
Marketers still have time to prepare, however. Even though the FCC has passed its resolution, it will still take several months for the changes to be codified and enacted. In the meantime, groups of both lawmakers and lawyers have declared their intention to fight the ruling, both in court and in Congress.
Though nothing has officially changed just yet, marketers may need to start allocating some of their 2018 budgets to currying favor among ISPs if they want to ensure their messaging is actually visible to consumers.