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July 09, 2008

YouTube Backsteps - May Go With Pre-Roll Ads

By Li Evans

Youtube_logo Apparently YouTube is in a crunch, a big money crunch that is.

YouTube took the stance not to add pre-roll or post-roll advertising to its videos that users upload, play and share, when it first came into existence and then subsequently became the online video sharing powerhouse on the internet.  When Google bought them, questions began to surface about monetization.  Of course Google in its usual fashion slapped its Adsense network on there, and claimed that as it's monetization.  It's all about the eyeballs right? 

Trouble is, apparently not as many people are clicking on those ads, otherwise, why would Google go to such a dreaded format?  Even after their own research showed that 70% of users hated the pre-roll or post-roll formats.

Advertisers though, apparently love it.  I guess, for as much as Google claims its all about the users, in the end it's about the dollar.  If advertisers are willing to pay for it, apparently Google's going to rethink its stance.

My only question is, will the users go elsewhere when they are forced to watch pre-roll on their own videos they've uploaded on YouTube?  Will sites like Revver, Metacafe, Vimeo and DailyMotion be able to capitalize on the fact they don't have pre-roll ads if and when YouTube implements them?  I have a feeling who ever takes advantage in a way that appeals to YouTube users who hate the pre-roll ads, will end up being the big winner in all of this, not YouTube.  Sorry Google!


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This really worries me - Google have to focus on advertising, because that's where they make most of their money. I'm struggling to see how the internet is going to offer a better experience for the user in the future if Google focuses on those with the deepest wallets.

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