Thursday, August 23, 2007

YouTube Ads - The Sky is Falling!

From the 226 comments (at the time of this post) to YouTube's blog entry asking for feedback, most users don't want the new pop-up ads that YouTube debuted yesterday in select videos. The little ads pop-up after a few seconds at the bottom of the window (where the black bar is - with the YouTube logo) and will cycle through once - then will close.

The user can also manually close the ad - and if they click on the ad (which is the whole point, after all) - the video will pause and the ad will show in the same space (which the user can also stop or close) after which the video will resume.

Personally, I think it's a fairly unobtrusive way for YouTube to make some revenue and, in theory, will allow advertisers to target viewers with relevant ads based on the content of the video rather than just target by the overall demographic of the site. This is WAY better than the "pre-roll" ads on other content and much more targeted than Google AdSense above or next to a video.

However, based on the posts to the blog - I'm in the minority.

People are screaming and bitching - threatening to take their videos elsewhere (PLEASE DO!). I'll let you troll the comments yourself - but here's a snippet:

"Remember the Golden Days of television when the program was paramount and inviolable and advertising had to wait till the commercial break? Art today is treated like a disposable diaper, and both the artist and his audience are disrespected if not outright insulted by this onslaught of intrusive advertising. It says much about our culture that we meekly accept it." (onlyed87)

"That really sucks! i don't want my artistic masterpiece to be filled up with cheesy unrelated ads. The site will become less attractive." (irabnut)

ART? YouTube? Riiiight.

Then there's the 15 year old who just learned what the f* word means (posted 50 times):


Not all posts are from the "I want something for nothing forever free" club. There are a number of others that realize that here in the real world host and servers and offices and admins and customer service people cost money:

"I can see the logic behind the new ads, but I still don't like it. I would gladly pay a subscription fee to be able to view YT videos without ads." (typeloki)

Of course there are the entrepreneurial folks out there that want revenue sharing (good idea) - like rival VideoEgg. At least those people have a sense of humor - they have a huge banner at the top of their site saying "Welcome, YouTube. Seriously. We invented the video overlay ad about a year ago. We are delighted that the market is finally catching on to a vital new approach to video advertising."

Keeping in mind that:
  • There are lots of places for "artists" to post videos for free
  • Google paid 1.25 billion for YouTube
  • The ad feature also includes ratings and digg features
  • The user can close the ad at any time
  • Google is making $20 per thousand views

What's the problem? You don't like the ads - visit another video site with funny, cool videos that everyone posts to. Oh, wait, that's right - there ARE NONE (yet).

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