The Problem (Insert Ad Here) With Advertising (Insert Ad Here) On YouTube

from the it's-not-everywhere-yet dept

There’s been a lot of discussion about how sites like YouTube are going to monetize online video, and with the high costs of hosting and distributing the content, it is seen as a pressing issue. A lot of the talk centers on advertising, though it’s unclear how best to work it in. The simplest approach would be pre-roll advertising, a short ad that plays at the beginning of each clip. This would be lucrative, except for the fact that it annoys people. It may work for sites like MTV, Yahoo, and MSN, which basically seek to replicate the experience of watching TV on your computer screen, but there’s a reason that YouTube and Google video are hesitant to adopt it. Remember those failed schemes that offered a free phone call if you listened to a short ad beforehand? In a way, that’s the problem with inserting ads into social video. YouTube has become something of a communications platform, a tool for people to embed content on their own site, or to share things with others. People don’t like their personal expression or communication to be invaded by ads. If YouTube started inserting pre-roll into its clips, it’s likely that users would migrate over to Google Video, or one of many other online video sites; and since YouTube’s only valuable asset is its user base, it can’t afford to see that happen. YouTube has to keep pursuing unobtrusive strategies such as Fred Wilson’s suggestion of selling off the post-video recommendation links and continuing to sign deals with major content owners, that use the site as a promotional tool.

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Comments on “The Problem (Insert Ad Here) With Advertising (Insert Ad Here) On YouTube”

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Anonymous Coward says:

The problem for YouTube is the VALUE of their content.

Yes, I would watch pre-roll for a half-hour TV show or even a cool 5-10 minute short film or something like that. Maybe even that fat kid with the light saber…

No, I’m not going to pay a dime or watch a second of pre-roll to watch somebody lip sync a mindless pop hit, some moron breaking an ankle doing an ollie, or some emo kid whining about how the jocks gave him a swirly…

Lamper says:

Re: What's wrong with ads?


its great that a show is cool coz it advertises something cool, I love the world of marketing, I love that people deadicate their entire live to making us part with our hard earnd cash for the sake of it.

If a product is good it will sell itsself. I don’t need an advert make me buy bog roll, I know I want it and make a choice to buy it without any help!

TasMot says:

Re: Re: What's wrong with ads?

I don’t really need to see another ad for Chevy, or Pepsi, or Burger King. What I would not mind were ads for things that I don’t know about, such as when DVRs came out, when a flying car is available, and so on. For example, most computer geeks know what VOIP is and what it can do for them, but Vonage is bringing VOIP to the masses. They need to advertise to get people to start looking into a better phone service. What I don’t need is another ad for 99.9% off on whatever crap is on sale (AGAIN) at the local department store.

Brian (user link) says:

One of the main attractions if YouTube is sharing – it’s easy to share your stuff with millions. So, before someone can upload a video, hit them with a 30 second ad – something that is gated so that they have to get by that ad experience in order to upload their video. The benefit of uploading your video outweighs the negative of sitting through the ad experience, which is a necessary relationship for ads to work.

Mark Kitchen (user link) says:

Re: Give the uploaders the ads

>> One of the main attractions if YouTube is sharing – it’s >> easy to share your stuff with millions. So, before
>> someone can upload a video, hit them with a 30 second >> ad – something that is gated so that they have to get >> by that ad experience in order to upload their
>> video.

Good idea Brian, I agree.

Anonymous Coward says:

segmentation, people... segmentation

amazon employs the concept… MySpace surely does NOT, and if youtube is debating how to make money, the they clearly do not employ it.

It’s not difficult to know what i’ve watched on youtube. Match that to an advertising database, and wrap ads around the videos. I dont mind seeing ads on screen, like, right now on the right side of my screen are 5 google ads… If an ad is written properly, and i’ve been segmented properly, then i might click.

Forcing people to watch, read, or click is the past. Users control their web experience. The most powerful tool a user has on the web is that little red X in the upper right corner of the screen.

The best example of wasted segmentation is MySpace… they know everything about a user, and everything about a users friends… yet they insist on presenting advertisements to me about online dating when my age says 99 and my status say MARRIED!


A Non-Mouse Cow Herd (user link) says:

Sharing videos means greater distribution of ads

From the ad-companies perspective….

If you were responsible for purchasing ad time for your clients, would you rather buy generic eyeball time on a generic tv station?

Or would you rather purchase keywords, KNOWING that a particular video (that has SOMETHING to do with the market segment you are advertising for) is popular right now, and you will likely get eyeball time in from of millions of people WHO ACTUALLY CARE about the subject matter?

I know I would want to purchase that content.

Now, dont get me wrong here. youtube still has a chance to FUBAR this. they could fail to do the ad-selling optimally, and google video could “win” only because they know how to sell a product to advertisers. (which they are damn good at, WITHOUT being evil)

Brandon Rusnak (user link) says:

A thought...

Just a crazy idea…

I wonder if youtube could make a profit if they had their own cable tv network, kinda like America’s Funniest Videos, MTV and Jackass all rolled into one.

When a user uploads a video to youtube they automaticaly get the right to display it on their tv network. Youtube goes through and picks the best video clips on the network for that day/week and airs them. They then show ads on the tv network. This creates a new tv channel, increases youtube’s popularity (who doesn’t want to be on tv) and makes money.

It could happen.

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