Rob’s Roundup: Who’s Always Online and Seeing Torrent Ads

Rob’s Roundup: Who’s Always Online and Seeing Torrent Ads
Friday, December 11, 2015
Rob Walker

This week we look at a new study showing how 21% of people are online constantly, as well as how some advertisers are taking advantage of the marketing opportunity Torrent clients provide.

Put your phone down for a second and read this…oh wait.

If you’re wondering whether anyone else has friends or loved ones who always seem to have their phone out, there’s now data that shows one-fifth of americans are online ‘almost constantly’.

In a new Pew Research Center survey, almost 75% of Americans go online on a daily basis, with 21% who go online almost constantly. They’re followed closely by the 42% who check their email, browse or watch streaming video several times a day.

daily online numbers

The number of people who do not use the internet at all is dwindling, with only 13% of adults saying they don’t use the internet.

The numbers start to get really heavy when you factor in demographics – 36% of 18 – 29-year-olds are online constantly and 50% go online multiple times per day. Younger teens are online at least once a day a full 92% of the time. Compare that to 6% of people 65 and older being online constantly and you can see how these numbers will just continue to grow.

Now all they need is a survey that statistically shows how annoying it is when someone is on their phone constantly and you’ll have some real data for the next time someone is checking their email at the dinner table.

To Advertise on Torrents or not to Advertise – That is the Marketer’s Question

Torrenting, the controversial method of file-sharing that allows users to share and download files, seems like a never ending storm of online arguments, litigation and even arrests – depending on where you live and what you’re using it for. While the software itself is completely benign and is often used for the legitimate sharing of open source software, as well as books, videos and music that are in the public domain, its ease of use, increased anonymity and high performance make it a popular distribution channel for pirated content.

bittorrent ads

This has obviously kicked off a firestorm within the IP world, but also opened up opportunities for certain advertisers. While few marketers will post their client’s ads on the pirate bay or other copyright-infringing sites, some major marketers have jumped on the Torrent bandwagon, showing their clients ads within the Torrent client itself in order to tap into the lucrative – and hard to reach – millenial generation.

BitTorrent, an extremely popular torrent client, serves over 3.4 billion ads each month to over 170 million active users. Those are hard numbers to ignore for any marketer.

In an interview with adage.com, VP of Communications and Brand at BitTorrent Christian Averill said that since BitTorrent is not itself an illegal entity or source of infringing content, they will continue to work with major studios and labels in order to reach those audiences.

“BitTorrent has one of the largest millennial audiences, a notoriously hard to reach demographic and our audience has proven to spend more than the average internet user,” said Christian Averill, VP of Communications and Brand at BitTorrent. “The millennial generation as a whole is one that is resistant to corporate marketing and not tuned-in to traditional media channels.”

The BBC, The Onion and other publishers, as well as artists like Radiohead, Moby and David Cross have all offered authorized downloads as BitTorrent bundles. Smaller game publishers have often put their games up for sale or for free via Torrent software as well.

Recently, a group of more than 30 marketers including Johnson & Johnson and Walt Disney Co. pledged to take ‘reasonable steps’ to reduce the risk of placing ads on sites with pirated content.

Note: DAC Group does not run advertising on Torrent platforms.