Auto-Playing Video Ads Are Nuisance & Would Be Soon Regulated: TRAI



Auto-playing video advertisements rampant on various news portals and ecommerce websites would soon face the wrath of TRAI. These videos, which gets auto-downloaded into users’ browsers and then start playing without any warning, have received numerous complaints from Internet users, and TRAI is taking them seriously.

As per a research, auto-playing videos by Facebook have been found to be consuming more than 60% of data allocated to subscribers of some telecom operators.

Although no separate research has been conducted to actually compute the data loss triggered by auto-playing video advertisements, TRAI is taking this issue seriously, and some concrete steps would be soon taken to stop this practice.

Seminar To Control Data Loss By Auto-Playing Videos

As the videos automatically starts playing, without any consent from the Internet user, majority of data is consumed without any intimation or warning. To understand this practice in greater detail, and to find out ways to control its widespread usage, TRAI is conducting a seminar in Hyderabad.

IIT-Hyderabad has been roped in as academic partner for this seminar, which will discuss ways to regulate auto-download of videos and to save data usage for customers.

This seminar became a necessity after TRAI admitted that this is a non-transparent way of data usage.

An official said, “These unsolicited ads on some sites and well as social media platforms which download automatically without the consumers’ knowledge, lead to data consumption. The question is should there be rules and regulations around them?, given the non-transparent way in which data usage is happening..”

Auto-Download Of Videos Pushing Up Data Costs?

On an average, 20-30 paisa per MB is the cost incurred by the end-user when it comes to accessing data on mobile. Now, if a video gets auto-downloaded and then starts playing, then even if assuming 10 MB for a short video, it will result in an expense of around Rs 2- Rs 3 per video.

If a user encounters 5 such auto-playing videos in a day, then, Rs 10-Rs 15 would be wasted, without any consent from the data user.

The official said, “It is about the non-transparent way in which data usage is happening. At about 20-30 paise per MB, data is expensive. So the issue needs to be examined,”

Some of the questions which would be discussed during the seminar includes:

  • How much data is wasted by such auto-playing videos on desktop/mobile?
  • How can users stop these videos ads?
  • Why websites don’t provide a permanent solution to stop such video ads on their platform?
  • Should there be an upper-limit of data consumption via such auto-playing videos ads?

In the first phase, TRAI will hold discussions with content providers, Internet service providers and representatives from consumers to find out solution for this major problem. Once feedbacks and opinions are accumulated, TRAI will come out with notified regulations for the same.

We will keep you updated as more details come in..

  1. Saurabh says

    I keep Flash disabled in my Firefox browser. It stops more than half of auto play videos. I avoid sites that play video automatically.

  2. Shashank says

    autoplaying video ads are really a shit. it starts playing even you won’t want them to run…. TRAI should stop them.

    1. Harish Negi says

      I think every site gives you option to deactivate them. The time when internet is becoming more accessible and videos are breaking search records, the auto-playing should not be stopped. It will be too much for TRAI to interfere in this.

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