Google (the owners of YouTube) have decided to put advertising on the YouTube videos. Joeseph Jaffe is taking a chunk out of them on the Marketing Prof’s DailyFix blog proclaiming the slow death of YouTube as they impose 15 second ads to roll before the videos.
The decision feels dumb and this is enough. Regardless of statistics about what percentage of viewers stay on after the ads and what the click through rates are of the people who will follow the advertising, it feels like they are rubbing people the wrong way. In this world of intuitive decisions and feeling-based consumerism to alienate the user like this will be inevitably bad. All of the boffins who came up with this idea may actually be right in the absolute sense – maybe 1% of the 25% of the people who don’t click off before the end of the vid will click on to the advertiser and maybe 5% of those will be interested in the product and maybe this is enough to sell the space and keep everyone happy, but it doesn’t feel like that. It tastes like treason in the mouth of the community who championed YouTube and they will just as quickly find a new community to form. Welcome to the world.
It feels like fast money and that is all that matters. If it feels this way then it’s true. I can’t help thinking about two young guys sitting in a room somewhere trying to figure out how to keep up with $1.65 billion. Now there was a decision which felt right.