If you watch Youtube as much as I do, you’ll notice that Youtube has begun airing mid-video ads around the five minute mark. It’s a change that brings Youtube closer to cable television, and I completely disagree with it.
I have been watching Youtube and uploading to it since 2007. I have watched the site grow from a small, tight-knit community of a few channels, to an industry of celebrities. I’ve always had a soft spot for Youtube and I have always dreamed of having more than a handful of subscribers and maybe being part of the Partnership program.
But lately, Youtube has been drowning in controversy. Major Youtubers are being outed as abusers and rapists. Creators are being mistreated by the automated copyright system. The subscription boxes keep failing to bring new videos to the users that want to see them. The laundry list just continues to grow with each day that passes.
Today, the issue is mid-video ads. Youtube has almost always had ads, either in the side bar or on the actual video itself, their ads have been there, asking you to buy something. Which is just fine. I have no problem with people putting ads on things. That’s how you make money on a website, I get it. But previously, the video portions of the ads were always before the video. Sometimes those ads ran longer than the video you were trying to watch. In more recent years, they’ve had a skip button on the majority of these ads that you can press 3 seconds into the video, but those skip buttons have started disappearing. Which again, I have no problem with, because I get to see my content in full directly after.
However, this new system of advertising on Youtube interrupts the video you’re watching. Usually, mid-sentence for a large majority of videos. Creators don’t know that this is happening, so they haven’t had time to prepare for it, so there’s no natural cut off point leading into the ad. The video just stops awkwardly in the middle and starts up again right where it left off. This might be a ploy to get more people to pay for Youtube Red, which is their subscription service that you can pay for and watch “better,” more produced content from your favorite creators, ad-free.
The original content that is free from those creators is already fine, that’s why I watch them. They are already talented at what they are doing. I just don’t want to have to pay for yet another subscription service to get the exact same content just with no ads and a few produced things, but now Youtube is trying to force that on us. It’s like the whole Google Plus issue all over again.
It feels like Youtube is trying to become the new television, just online. Eventually, they’ll throw in another ad a little later in the video and each of those will be followed directly by three more, until you’re watching more ads than the content you came for. I just hope this isn’t the future of Youtube. I know it’s never going to be that little community I came to back in 2007, that’s gone now, I understand that. But I still feel like it shouldn’t be a space where I’m going to be sold perfume or motor oil. I want to support my favorite Youtubers, but I want to do it by enjoying their content, buying their merch, or donating to their patreon pages, not by watching a metric fuck ton of ads.
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THANKS FOR READING!
http://www.youtube.com/bopsterjazz (for those interested, and no, I don’t run ads on my videos)
Image credit: http://www.youtube.com