Zoom to test ads for basic users2 min read

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Video communications platform Zoom, which saw its value soar during the panemic lockdown but falter once in-person activities began to return, is looking to monetize its free “basic” user audience. The pilot program looks non-intrusive with ads appearing on browsers only once sessions have ended. Zoom reaffirmed its policy of not using meeting, webinar, or messaging content for marketing or promotional purposes.

The initiative, said Zoom, will enable service to basic users to continue. The pilot will roll out in selected countries with the ads being shown after sessions hosted by basic users.

Why we care. Zoom must be treading carefully here. There’s currently a lot of ad-free freemium service available in the video meeting space. A Google account gets you a one hour meeting with up to 100 participants for free; if you think a two hour meeting with 200 hundred participants is a good idea, reach for your wallet.

Nevertheless, the temptation to drive some value from that extensive sub-set of its 300 million users must be hard to resist? The reach is going to be huge, but the challenge will be to convince advertisers there’s value in inventory which requires users to hang around after Zoom meetings to consume it.

About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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