Meta offers ad-free subscriptions – how does it affect you as an advertiser?
Last week, it became clear. Meta will offer a paid version for Facebook and Instagram that's ad-free – but what does this mean for you, advertising on Meta today?
Meta will now offer users in the EU, EEA (European Economic Area), and Switzerland the opportunity to subscribe monthly to Facebook and Instagram without ads. Users can also continue to use the services for free as before but with targeted ads.
The cost of the subscriptions will vary depending on where you purchase: €9.99/month if purchased online and €12.99/month on iOS and Android.
Regardless of where you purchase your subscription, it will apply to all linked Facebook and Instagram accounts. The pricing for iOS and Android considers the fees that Apple and Google charge. So, how much panic should you, as an advertiser, feel?
Introducing a subscription without ads can have several potential implications for you as an advertiser. We've listed seven of the most probable effects:
- Reduced reach:
If many users choose the ad-free subscription model, it's reasonable to assume that the potential reach for advertisers on the platform decreases. This might make it more challenging for businesses to reach their target audiences on Meta's platforms, bearing in mind that those willing to pay to avoid ads were likely less engaged with ad content in the past.
This becomes especially important for retargeting, primarily for specific target groups with higher adoption rates where high reach in the retargeting population is critical.
- Higher cost per exposure:
As the number of users seeing ads might decrease, the cost per exposure or click (CPC) may increase. It may become more expensive for advertisers to reach the remaining audience that still sees ads. This highly depends on your target audience and whether they opt for the paid solution.
- More focus on quality content:
If fewer users continue to see ads, it will be even more critical for advertisers to create engaging, relevant, high-quality content to stand out.
- Potential re-evaluation of ad strategies:
Advertisers need to reassess their marketing strategies on Meta platforms, which involves diversifying their marketing channels or reallocating or modifying their advertising budgets.
- Data-driven insights might be affected:
Suppose a large portion of the user base chooses the subscription option. In that case, the data gathered from advertising might need to be more representative of the overall user base, affecting analysis and insights derived from campaigns.
- Change in ad formats:
With fewer users exposed to ads, experimenting with various formats like Stories, video ads, or interactive ads might become more valuable to maximize engagement.
- Strengthened relationship with remaining users:
Users who do not subscribe and continue seeing ads might be the most engaged and active on the platform. Thus, it might be valuable for advertisers to focus on deepening relationships with this remaining user group.
- Organic Social:
If more users opt for the subscription and thus don't see ads, organic content might gain more importance. Brands and content creators must focus even more on producing high-quality, engaging, and valuable content to build and maintain their audience.
It's likely not a wild guess that introducing a subscription-based, ad-free option affects advertisers' strategy and effectiveness on Meta platforms. If you advertise on Meta, you should keep updated on how many users choose the subscription option and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Remember that the adoption rate in your specific target group might differ from others, so how it affects your business varies.