Let’s face it, if things were up to consumers, ads would almost never exist. If they have to, however, consumers are going to prefer they stay out of our way where they can easily be ignored or passed by—only interacting with them when we want to.
YouTube, however, does the exact opposite of what consumers prefer. With TrueView in-stream ads, YouTube’s ads are obnoxious and stand in the way of content consumption; almost every video is prefaced by an advertisement of around 15 seconds that can only sometimes be skipped.
More significantly though, YouTube will also disrupt their own content to display advertisements within longer videos. With direct intrusion on their own content, such a plan seems detrimental to user friendliness, as it is frustrating and often about something you couldn’t care less about.
How detrimental is it really though? If we’re being honest, I know for a fact that I have never switched away from a video due to an advertisement in the middle of it. As frustrating as it is, it simply isn’t enough to take me away from a video that I have taken time to locate and watch, as it would probably take as long as the advertisement to find something else worth watching. Recently, I have noticed this trend and how ingenious it actually is. For companies, despite being annoying, it guarantees viewership as most consumers, like me, don’t want to switch away from the video they’re watching. It can be a nuisance if it happens several videos in a row, but there’s simply no competition offered to YouTube to really force any consequences upon the streaming service.
So, here we are. Consumers forced to watch advertisements, advertisers who get at least a few seconds of viewership per video, and YouTube who makes money off of its loyal users as well as companies desperate for advertisement click-throughs. The lack of competition lets this strategy grab hold and until some comes around, I don’t foresee it going anywhere.