Will YouTube commit Suicide with ads?
Trying to get away with what television has been annoying audiences with for the last few years, Google has finally decided YouTube needs to money with ads that take up about 1/5 of the bottom of it’s screen. According to Google, the ads come in the form of an overlay which appears about 15 seconds after the video begins. The user has the option of ignoring the overlay, which will eventually go away after about 10 seconds or they can simply click to close it. However, if the user accidentally clicks in the wrong spot, the video will stop and a commercial will being playing in it’s place. Then, after the commercial finishing, you’re back to watching the original video from right where you left off.
Google states that a little more than have of the viewers tested simply turned off a video but that is offset by the five to 10 times more users who would click on the overlay, rather than respond to traditional banner ads. That’s a pretty tempting market to court when trying to figure out a way to make a service like YouTube become profitable.
The technology appears to be loosely based on the Video Egg concept which has been selling video ads on their viral site for over a year. Google does insist that the ads will only appear in videos created by partners who will share in the revenue and that it is not working toward monetizing all of the videos on the site. But with the nature of how YouTube works, is that a practical promise that can be kept?
The results so far have been mixed, which is usually the case. But considering that it’s more or less the traditional promotional format on television these days, it’s future long term may be more assured than users seeking to get their video fix elsewhere.
Now granted, Google has to find a way to store the bleeding of more than 1.5 billion in bandwidth costs every year, but surely this is bad news for the YouTube faithful who enjoy the virual nature of the phenomenon.