Would You Give Out Your Social Security Number To Watch a Video? Some People Say Yes





Ads are usually part of the deal when you’re watching a video online. Unless you’re paying for a subscription that removes ads, a few minutes of your time is the sacrifice to access content. According to a new report from tech company Connatix, some viewers are willing to go a step further and share personal information in order to watch a video. 

Of those surveyed, almost 50% of respondents said they were willing to share information about their age and gender identity. Connatix said respondents’ willingness to answer decreases as information requests get more personal, but 25% were still willing to share information like family size, height, weight and address. Perhaps most concerning, 5% said they were willing to share their Social Security number to get access to a video.

For the record, NO video is worth sharing your Social Security number.

Social media is still a huge source for watching videos, but viewers are still seeking entertainment and news from media outlets. Despite ad fatigue, viewers are still watching them – especially if the ads are geared towards their personal interests. Gathering personal data can help better inform companies and advertisers about what content to produce. 

In addition, Connatix reported 75% of survey respondents bought something after watching a video ad within the last year. 

“Consumers are smart,” Chris Kane, founder of programmatic supply chain management company Jounce Media, said in the report. “They understand that access to content is never truly free, and that without a paywall they will likely need to engage with some form of advertising to access the content they want to see. 

YouTube, for example, is the go-to platform for Gen Z teens to consume content. Earlier this year, the Precise Advertiser Report: Teens and Youth (PARTY) found that almost 50% of teens can recall an ad they’ve seen on YouTube. Sixty percent are also watching them instead of tapping the skip button.

Consumer trust can be easily abused, especially when the data shows how much they’re willing to share online. But ads and consumers are intertwined online – one can’t exist without the other. 

“We can’t take advantage of their willingness to consume ads,” Kane said. “It’s important for publishers to have a balanced ad strategy that protects, rather than disrupts, the reader experience.” 

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