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Behind Disney+ Hotstar’s pause ads ROI, user retention and engaged audiences with Dhruv Dhawan

Pause ads do not interrupt content consumption leading to higher engagement rates and promising early results for advertisers, including double-digit growth in brand awareness metrics, emphasised Dhawan

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Dhruv Dhawan

Dhruv Dhawan

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New Delhi: The advertising landscape has changed significantly following Disney+Hotstar’s introduction of  ‘Pause Ads’ to its connected TV (CTV) offering.

According to the company’s official communique, the pause ads aim to integrate ads into user-initiated breaks.

Dhruv Dhawan, head of ads, Disney+ Hotstar, mentioned that brands which have been early adopters of CTV pause ads on the platform have witnessed double-digit growth in key brand awareness metrics.

According to Disney+ Hotsar analytics, CTV viewers exposed to pause ads were observed to be 26% better engaged than an average CTV viewer, meaning that with pause ads, a brand can reach out to more engaged audience cohorts. 

The other quality of pause ads that lead to enhanced user retention is that unlike general ads, they are non-intrusive, appearing only during user-initiated breaks.

While traditional video ads usually play right in the middle of watching favourite content, often resulting in user drop-offs, pause ads are shown upon user action. This allows the company to display ads while preserving the viewing experience and ensuring they remain non-intrusive.

Pause ads do not interrupt content consumption leading to higher engagement rates and promising early results for advertisers, including double-digit growth in brand awareness metrics, emphasised Dhawan.

Furthermore, pause ads are designed to blend with the viewing experience during user-initiated breaks which minimises potential inconveniences, thereby, ensuring that viewers have an experience which allows advertisers to connect with an engaged audience.

Companies like Marico, Mondelez, and ITC, have been early adopters of the offering and have provided great feedback on pause ads, as per Dhawan. 

The ad rates are marginally higher owing to its premium placement. However, the prices are not very high as they remain accessible to advertisers and reflect the value of reaching an engaged audience during user-initiated breaks.

“The vision behind pause ads was to leverage the growing share of CTV in India to offer advertisers a unique, non-intrusive way to reach audiences during natural breaks in content consumption. Inspired by successful implementations in the US, we aimed to create an ad format that maximises ad real estate without disrupting the user experience. Our goal is to continually offer pioneering ad solutions that benefit both advertisers and our audience,” Dhawan concluded.

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