YouTube Ads

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.

Source: Mashable

There Are 53 Comments

  1. Hey Ryan, I mostly agree with what you’re saying–blocking ads from web sites you like and rely on is not the coolest. However, I think YouTube has crossed somewhat of a line with the overlay ads, which are more along the lines of pop-over ads than regular embedded ads. As soon as ads start directly interfering with the content, I call lame.

    I know that overlay ads are probably the best way to get click-throughs, and we’ll probably all get used to them in time (they’re so much like regular TV ads, anyway), but I think they are unnecessarily obtrusive. YouTube is still a web site like any other, and there’s plenty of room for traditional banners and the like.

    • I don’t care what you put to the side, but when it gets pasted right in front of my face, I get pissed off !!! LEAVE IT OUT OF THE VIDEO PLAYSPACE!!!!

    • If you realy like to watch adverts appearing over the top every time you are trying to watch a video then i feel sorry for you, you are a very strange person.

    • ive been blocking ads online for over a year now i also block ads on you tube and personanly i couldnt care less if they like it or not.
      every1 should block ads online, we dont need them and the people who create ads are only after easy $$$ and now people are blocking their miserable advertising they are all starting to have a cry, well bad luck get a real job like every1 else and quit complaining about ad blockers, were here to stay and there isnt a god damn thing any of you can do about it :)

    • MY Computer,
      My Electricity
      My Connection
      My Thoughts
      Right now it’s easy to block ads as well other commercial messages.
      When it becomes difficult I will seek information another way.
      It’s that simple….
      Ads and advertisers are like roaches….

      YOU HAVE TO KEEP SPRAYING …….

    • My gripe is not with the google adverts that appear over my video (heck, i can easily close any of these types of adverts). My problem lies with the video adverts that appear over on the right of the page. These videos regularly interrupt the video i’m playing and I do not want to hear about the latest breakthrough in cleaning technology whilst listening to my videos.

      Hope this topic is something Youtube amend, although they only have 70 staff, no real helpdesk / support department and the receptionist has been programmed to deliver a frosty reception and not allow regular people through to complain.

      Thanks

  2. I agree with the comments that ads should play as they have it on youtube. Nothing more annoying on film previews on the net when they have a 15-20 second ad before it…You feel as though it pressures you into watching the ads, when most of us would turn off/change sites and find another without the pre-play versions.
    Even better that YT pay a % to the vid in question being played – Fair play.

  3. could someone post a link with an youtube lower20 ad.i checked out the Simpson’s trailer no ad popped up.maybe adblock and/or noscript blocks those ads?

  4. The ads don’t bother me a bit. If YouTube can stay free to all with these ads, then I’m more than happy to put up with them :mrgreen:

  5. Yeah, ads are alright….until they get intrusive. Putting ads in videos like that is BS and intrusive…so they’ll be getting blocked by me.

    Then again, I don’t do a whole ton of Youtubing, and I could do without it…so whatever.

    Also, I block ads globally because I never click on them to begin with, so why waste time loading them?

  6. Adam wrote:
    As soon as ads start directly interfering with the content, I call lame.

    I’m sure YouTube call it lame when people using their service refused to let them have any revenue from it. If we hadn’t all got Adblockers installed they wouldn’t have to overlay them. It’s better than having click through Ads at least.

  7. Inferno_str1ke wrote:
    I’m sure YouTube call it lame when people using their service refused to let them have any revenue from it. If we hadn’t all got Adblockers installed they wouldn’t have to overlay them. It’s better than having click through Ads at least.

    I’d say it’s *very* unlikely that anything but a tiny fraction of people who use YouTube every day have any sort of ad-blocking going on in their browser.

  8. But what about the DoubleClick ads (I wonder why they haven’t switched to Google Ads yet, though. Maybe because the whole acquisition thing.) on YouTube.com? Don’t they bring in enough revenue?

  9. 1 million a month is nothing for google.

    • its not a charity. sorry.
      I will never understand why people think big business can just handle lossing a lot of money everywhere and should do nothing about as they won’t be big very long with that kind of mentality.

    • Will, the answer is not why we think it, but that we don’t care if the big companies lose everything seeing as they would take everything from all of us and have been for some time.

  10. For starters I’ve heard now that Google is letting publishers opt-in to the advertising program. If the video developers don’t want these ads to show up on their movies, then they won’t be there. So if you see them now you know it isn’t YouTube’s fault, because they weren’t the ones who ultimately made the decision.

    Adam wrote:
    I know that overlay ads are probably the best way to get click-throughs, and we’ll probably all get used to them in time (they’re so much like regular TV ads, anyway), but I think they are unnecessarily obtrusive.

    I think that they are far less obtrusive than the ones that you are forced to watch before a video will start playing. I find these 100 times better in that I can close out the ad.

    shlozzy wrote:
    Even better that YT pay a % to the vid in question being played – Fair play.

    I’m with you on this one. I think this is completely fair.

    KylesCove wrote:
    The ads don’t bother me a bit. If YouTube can stay free to all with these ads, then I’m more than happy to put up with them :mrgreen:

    Amen to that!

    DKong wrote:
    Also, I block ads globally because I never click on them to begin with, so why waste time loading them?

    You don’t have to click on all the ads in order for sites to make money and for you to therefore support the sites. Many ads (even ones being served here) pay out just for the ad getting displayed. So even though you might not be clicking on them, by blocking the ads you’re still doing more harm than you may realize.

    Pieter wrote:
    But what about the DoubleClick ads (I wonder why they haven’t switched to Google Ads yet, though. Maybe because the whole acquisition thing.) on YouTube.com? Don’t they bring in enough revenue?

    I’ve actually been wondering the same thing, but I’m not sure if the acquisition has been 100% completed yet.

    Tinhed wrote:
    1 million a month is nothing for google.

    Well, it would be more like $3 million a month by this point. Sure it may seem like nothing for Google, but there has to be something in it for them as well.

  11. When I’m on youtube, I clicked through to see a particular video, not an ad from something I don’t care about. If I’m constantly having to click an ‘x’ to get rid of something, I’m going to grow tired of that very quickly. I’m even at a point right now of considering unsubscribing to people who have opted for these ads just to make a point. I don’t want to watch their content if it’s going to have ads in them I’m clicking out of all the time.

    Traditionally speaking, Ads have always occupied their own space on websites. This crosses the line.

  12. Well you missed the mark on this one. People click on videos for content not for 2/3′s of a video but for the full video. If I wanted that crap on the bottom of the video I’d go looking for it. Think about it overlays have been possible on regular TV for sometime but there has been very little interest in it. Do you know why? Because of the massive backlash the advertisers would get. Youtube has been a top site for some time. One of the reasons for this is that the service has been so good that people never had any reason to look elsewhere. You talk about google’s need for revenue what happens when these adds drive people to other sites? Lastly I never thought about ad blocking software till this crap kept poping up now I’m blocking them all.

  13. I’m sorry but the ads take up slightly more than 20%. It is more like 30%. It’s been getting more and more annoying for a while now too. In fact, after watching a video just now, I’m finding myself blocked from being able to click on related videos by an ad that is taking up exactly 50% of the window (Ads by Google). This was the last straw and I am now looking for ways to block them permanently. Sure, TV shows have similar ads (the Ghost Hunters one on Sci-Fi channel sure is annoying, two guys walking on screen with flashlights is highly distracting and sucks you right out of your show) but at least they don’t play through the entire show. Just imagine if they did! I understand a websites need for revenue, but at the same time they need to understand that running a business on the internet is very competitive and I don’t have to use their site at all. Is it really worth making your users irate over ads that almost nobody clicks? Seriously stupid.

  14. Angry Youtube Viewer

    To put it simply: When a youtube video finishes, a google advert covers all the links to related videos. :-< Why?
    Very seriously stupid!

  15. I didn’t mind them so much when they were irregular, but now that so many users are putting them in their vids, I too am actively searching for ways to block them. I’m also looking for viable alternatives to Youtube… shame, really, as I love youtube, but the ads are now more intrusive than not.

  16. A few weeks ago I turned off Adblock on YouTube, and the pop-in ads really annoyed me. It covered part of my video and was trying to sell me an expensive ringtone subscription. The ads annoyed me so much that I re-enabled Adblock. I’ll check back when YouTube revises its ad strategy. For example, I wouldn’t mind a 5 second pre-roll ad.

    • I actually agree with you. I haven’t turned the ads off, but they are starting to get really annoying. Mostly because they’re just text ads that often are poorly targeted in the video. And it’s too bad that they don’t make the ad slide down after like 5 seconds.

  17. i block the overlay adds and the adds on the side because the computer i primarily watch youtube with lags when the adds pop up or when a flash add appears on the side. if they could just stick to non-animated adds i would be happy to let them appear but i just cant if it lags the video.

    • Little FYI: “ad” is short for advertisement. Since you don’t write advertisement with two D’s it’s “ad” and not “add”. ;)

      I have never experienced a lag because of the ads, but if YouTube does lag on your computer with ads enabled, you have another good reason to disable them.

  18. If an ad popped up and covered 20-30% of your article, I wouldnt have read it. I dont care if it vanishes on its own or even if I can close it, the fact remains that I came to this website to view the content, if the content is obscured then I really have no incentive to stick arround.
    The column on the right of this very website occupies virtually 30% of my browser window as I type and has maybe 6 adverts, that does not bother me in the slightest and I’m happy that the revenu allows you to keep doing what you do.
    As you said, its not money from my pocket and thus I dont block it. However, the day I come to this website to read something and I have to clear an ad, a poll, a survey or anything that would otherwise prevent me from reading your article, I’ll hit “Back” and thats the last time I’ll bother. Same goes for YouTube.

  19. U find this newish ad thing on youtube so bad that i am looking for alternatives to youtube, and i am using adblocker too,some people dont mind being bombared with ads fron the moment they wake till they go to sleep, i stopped watching television as there is so little choice and its spoonfed to everyone , i like internet because you can choose what you watch, these ads are driving me mental.sorry the post is written so badly but i think the general gist is there!
    keep posting stuff about this everywhere and maybe the owners of youtube will realise that people are atarting to get put off

  20. advertising online is dying. well thats just too bad. the sooner ads are gone from the net the better for all net users. Every website i come across that displays online advertisments gets blocked, ill never stop blocking ads. also there is a guy named danny who says he can block firefox users, simply turn off javascript or run no script and you have access to his website, why you would want to beats me as he is a full on bible basher and his website contains so much trash that ive now completely blocked his site altogether.
    to all internet users its your right to protect your pc from advertising spyware advertisers use and my advice is to block every bit of advertising you come across online, take away their revenue and let their websites shut down as we dont need them anyway.

  21. Since ive been blocking ads my internet usage limit now last the full month. the ammount of bandwidth these ads take up was unbelievable so yeah ill block everything now..

  22. First off I do not want to see some old half baked Jamaican man in nothing but his underwear trying to sell me rum!

    Second I don’t want previews for scary movies coming up when I’m trying to show my 5yr old niece cartoons or dance videos.

  23. people go to youtube to watch videos, not stupid commercials, so……

  24. A few people have already said this, but I feel that online advertisers will pay better attention if we repeat ourselves, because they repeat the same things over and over as well. Ads on the sides of web pages are fine, because they don’t prevent me from looking at what I came to the site to look at, but I can still see the ads and maybe say “I don’t care about that,” or “Oh, cool,” but if the ad gets IN THE WAY of what I came to the site to look at, It gets VERY annoying VERY fast to have to close that same ad every time I come to a site. It’s ridiculous. That is all. Rant over.

  25. I dont know about you but if i want to buy something then i will search the web, then look for reviews and make a choice of whats best for me. I never click adverts or buy because of an advert. The company will always make their product look better than it is.

    As for youtube, the kind of adverts that get on my tits are the 3 or 4 videos that you are forced to watch before the show starts. you cant skip them and its wastes my download limit! specialy when its repeated several times during the program. I also hate the ones that show up on the video while its playing, but at least you can close these but still having to click the close button all he time is a pain, then you some times miss the little button and click the damn ad by mistake! AAARRGGGGHHHHH!!! The banner ads beside the video dont bother me nearly as much. I feel the more times i see an advert the less i want to buy the product. Im at the point now where i will go for the under dog that hasnt thrusted their crud down my throat, even if its not as good.

  26. Ryan, it is funny to hear you plead for understanding based on “how much money it costs to run YouTube because of the extreme bandwidth usage”.
    I wonder whether Internet Service Provider that need to invest in infrastructure to support this bandwidth hike should also take a share on ads income. Or maybe, to gild the lily, since we will be eventually charged by the bandwidth increase, why don’t you rather demand that YouTube (Google) will subsidize the service provider investment and we all win.
    As someone previously said, I think Google has crossed the red line with their ads strategy and deserve to be penalized.
    Thanks for the TubeStop tip.

  27. tl;dr
    Let’s keep this simple. If google can’t afford the bandwidth costs without ads then it should die the same way 4chan would. “and nothing of value was lost” best sums how I feel about the ads. WHO CARES IF THEY CAN AFFORD THEIR BILL OR NOT. Not my problem. We will just leech off another site.

    youtube video “The Critic All The Duke’s Men Part 2″ 4ZaLWfJmKhA @ 5:15 best sums how I feel.

  28. FireFox with Adblock plus kills them all. Never even knew about ads on youtube till i used someones laptop with IE. All of a sudden youtube sucked. I have never sent money to youtube or google so this has to be the only source of income. Still I choose FireFox and AdBlock plus.

  29. Seems i am a potential winner of a car (an advertisement wants me to click on it, so it can disappoint me afterwards)..

    QUOTE: “Maybe I feel this way because we run our own site and rely on advertising for our income”

    maybe?..

    QUOTE: “all they’re trying to do is give the advertisers and viewers the best experience possible”

    i think it is not at all about the viewers experience, but only on howmuch money the advertisers make.
    You cannot be serious if You say You like Your site better with such nonsense-ad (as described in my first sentence).. are You?

  30. I block all ads that I can because I find them annoying and intrusive. The more a brand tries to force ads on me the more I associate negative feelings with them and it has the opposite effect to what they want.

    I don’t know a single person that likes advertising with the exception of the occasional funny ad but they like those for the laughs not because it makes them interested in a brand or product.

    I hope the ad blocker programs keep a leg up on all the intrusive and pervasive methods companies use to try and force us to view their garbage.

  31. advertising is all lies and trickery. the more i see an ad, the more i hate the product advertised. off the top of my head, due to heavy advertising that is nearly impossible to avoid in daily life, i could easily pollute this rant with product names, but i won’t. but as the product names float to my consious mind, as they are designed to do, my hatred grows for that product, and i can say with confidence, i have never and will not ever, consume, use, etc ANY of those products. i despise them like an ugly tattoo upon my brain – just like they were engineered to do. for pete’s sake, there are still ‘jingles’ that rattle around upstairs from 30 years ago, how annoying is that. the internet is anarchy, and i’ve never bothered with ad blocking before. now i’m on the hunt for the cure, mostly because i’ve reached my capacity, i’m full, there is no room for useless crap in my head, and i’m mad as hell, and i’m not going to take it anymore. :) well, ok.. maybe a bit more betty white, but after that..i’m done.

  32. I hate youtube commercials! And you shouldnt feel sorry for them’ they did it to themself’s I didnt buy a pc to watch commercials. If i wanted todo that i would watch t.v an sit through 15 min of commercials before the movie or show comes back on’I really hope they just stop I personaly block them with mozila ad on blocker and easylist an HOPE EVERYONE WILL TOO’ if they need to advertize do it on tv leave the internets alone god

  33. I’m OK with the little windows that pop up at the bottom of the video, but the videos that play before the one I want to watch are down right annoying. I’d be OK with them too if you didn’t have to watch them all the way through the end.

  34. If it wasn’t for the advertisements on Youtube, the videos you watch would disappear. Sure, another site would start up, then it would get big and the costs would increase for that site and they would then have to think of new ways to get advertisers to give them more money.

    Removing advertisements from the internet would really limit the amount of content on the internet as well.

    Someone brought up 4chan as an example, and that was pretty dumb. The cost for pictures and gifs in bandwidth pale in comparison to the cost of streaming millions upon millions of videos to the millions of people subscribed and the millions more watching without subscribing.

    All this complaining sounds like a bunch of children that want instant gratification for no cost, or adults that have absolutely no clue as to how a company HAS to work to be profitable. Youtube isn’t a hobby website people, they spend the amount of time they do working on it for free.

  35. i have not watched TV for over 26 years because of Ads. I get my news in other ways or sites that do not advertise. I also mute all ads if longer than 5 secs (like Hulu); I think the public should boycott all cable TV etc for 6 months and do other things with their time. Ads usurp your valuable time with garbage and stuff you never buy anyway. Because of ads the product cost goes up. My suggestion is to limit all ads to no more than station ID and less than 10 seconds in any 30 minute interval especially during 6am to 9am and 6pm to 11pm.
    The ads should be on call basis only, if you have time to waste, you may shut off the filters. Ads by demand only.
    I think the public is ready to pay as much as $10 a month for content only stations. Are you ready? then renege all during the next 3 months. Just cancel cables and any TV promos like directTv etc. I think the message will be clear.
    Hope the consumer will win this war.

  36. Still getting comments after three years!

    I’m one of the “haven’t watch TV for years” crowd. I’ll watch the TV when I go to friends’ places, but we mute the ads so we can chat during the breaks. 8 minutes of TV, 6 minutes of ads. Sometimes we forget to unmute the TV and end up switching it off because we missed whatever it was we were watching anyway.

    As for comments like “if it wasn’t for the advertisements on Youtube, the videos you watch would disappear” – sites like Flickr make a living from people who subscribe to the service. Why doesn’t Youtube offer a paid subscription service in addition to their free service? The answer there is that Google makes far more money from advertising than they would make from subscriptions. Flickr considers their clients to be the people uploading photos, Google considers their clients to be the people with the most money to throw at Google.

    The world can work just fine without obnoxious ads.

  37. Email the companies that put these adds up and tell them that its so annoying you will not buy their product that pops up and interferes with youtube watching

  38. Ok, I don’t get it people. I really don’t give a crap about adds. I will never click on them and they are only 15 to 20 seconds long. I really could care less. But when I go to my channel and go through my list of videos, there is this annoyong add that makes my viewing list smaller and it takes up space. Not to mention every time I click on another video the add will dissappear making the list big again and then come back making the list small. It does that over and over and I feel mental watching the list go big, small, big, small, big, small, big, small… This is what REALLLLLY pisses me off. I dont care about adds, just don’t take up space on my channel with them making my video list shrink.

  39. I use a UTM ad blocker and block the ads at the gateway. Guests at my house marevl at how fast pages load and how cloean all their websites look.

  40. No, believe me it matters! ads is the most annoying part of youtube. i actually wait the video to pop the annoying ad to close it then start the video again from the beginning (waste my time)..
    The 20% of the video you talking about is too much important part of the video for example there is a lot of informative videos about mac computers which it has all the applications behind the 20% annoying ad..
    Plus, I cannot focus on the video when the annoying ad is lighting and shining.
    I left the TV because I dont like what am watching at and selected youtube as my TV but the ad reminds me what the annoying home TV was showing to me.
    Last, it is not good feeling when there is something telling you: (Buy, Buy, Buy, Buy , Buy…..) while you dont need anything to buy and your thankfull with what you have.

  41. Youtube deserves to be at least compensated fairly for the service they provide.

    The “Advertisers” are using up YOUR bandwidth too. Bandwidth your paying for, and often obligated overages for if you use too much of it.

    It’s easy to be forgotten when your using broadband, but if you had a dial up you’d be far more aware of how much bandwidth their taking from you.

    How much is too much? What if you got a massive bill in the mail because you over used your internet? What if 30% of the bill was used by advertisements?

    If someone sent you and advertisement by text message on your phone, and you got a bill for it. You might be more pissed off. Ads online are costing you too.

    Shouldn’t the user be compensated for the bandwidth we’re paying for and other people are using you sell their products to us?

  42. I dream of a world where, people post their videos up for free and share them with the world.

    If ads are integral then the ad posters should compensate the other parties. The poster, the provider, and the viewer.

  43. I’m not sure what the answer is. I can appreciate that it must cost YouTube a heck of a lot of money to keep the website going but at the same time 99% of people REALLY HATE Ads and commercials. Junk mail, cold calling, marketing texts, TV commercials…I for one stopped watching TV because I got so tired of watching commercials every 15 to 20 minutes. As soon as they come on we go make a drink or grab something to eat. We delete the texts without reading them, throw the junk mail straight into the trash without opening it…people just don’t want them.
    But on the other hand, if I had to pay for YouTube I probably wouldn’t use it. At least you can close most of the Ads after just a few seconds. What we don’t want is constant interruption like on TV but unfortunately, that’s the way it seems to be going !

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