Right now I feel pretty bad for the YouTube team because of all the vulgar comments they’re receiving over the recent addition of video overlay ads. Most of the comments are irrelevant to helping YouTube improve the ad experience for the users, and if you decide to go look through the comments I’m sure you would see how immature some people can really be.
I’ve had a chance to interact with one of the video ads (pictured above) and I don’t understand why people despise them so much. The first time I saw one of the ads it was for The Simpsons Movie, and it really caught my attention. I was drawn into the ad, and even found myself compelled to watch it. It only takes up the lower 20% of the video, is heavily transparent, and it will disappear after a few seconds if you don’t click on it. Or there is always the "X" in the corner to manually close the ad.
Crazily enough the anti-ad outcry has been heard and there is a Firefox extension, called TubeStop, that will block YouTube ads. It does so by replacing the standard YouTube player with an "embedded" one…the same one you’ll find on other non-YouTube sites. This works because YouTube is currently not showing the ads on videos that are embedded on other sites.
So my real question is why would you want to block YouTube ads? I can only imagine how much money it costs to run YouTube because of the extreme bandwidth usage, but as of 1-year ago the associated costs were reported to be $1 million per month! Since that time their traffic has almost trippled, and I can’t imagine that the cost to run it has gotten any cheaper. Not only that but I’ve heard that a portion of the ad revenue is given to the authors of the video, and by leaving the ads you’re thereby supporting them.
Maybe I feel this way because we run our own site and rely on advertising for our income, but all I know is that you’ve got to support the sites you use the most. They’re not asking you to fork out money from your own pocket…all they’re trying to do is give the advertisers and viewers the best experience possible. I’d much prefer to see this type of video ads rather than the ones that are shown for the first 15-seconds of the video.