Study: People prefer to discover content on their own

When it comes to finding content online, people prefer to discover what they're looking for organically, as opposed to having it put upon them through disruptive advertising messages, according to a new study.

"The Future of Content, Part III: Rethinking Content Consumption" report from Rapt Media polled more than 1,000 people to gauge how content discovery and personalization are impacting purchases, and found that most people prefer to find content on their own and can even be distrustful of brands that are too pushy and disruptive with their content.

"The only way to compete in an increasingly crowded market is by providing valuable content for consumers to discover on their own and building relationships through interaction and engagement," Erika Trautman, founder and CEO of Rapt Media, said in a statement.

The study found that 43 percent of respondents believe that online ads are not personalized to their interests, but 62 percent say content they discover themselves is personalized. An overwhelming 95 percent of respondents take action to avoid seeing or receiving ads, and 61 percent say even if content is customized, they still prefer to find it on their own.

Just 5 percent of respondents say ads influence their purchasing decisions, while 46 percent say content they find on their own influences their purchase decision. More than half of millennials (57 percent) block ad content because it is too pushy, as opposed to 38 percent of those over the age of 45.

"Although programmatic push messaging is a form of implicit personalization, it is perceived by consumers as irrelevant and inauthentic," Trautman said in a statement. "Explicit content personalization through choice and discovery builds trust, increases engagement, and delivers a truly valuable experience starting at the point of creation. Millennials, in particular, are embracing the value of content discovery, forcing marketers to rethink the way content is created, distributed and consumed."

For more:
- check out the complete report from Rapt Media
- read the complete company statement