Stop YouTube’s New Ads

// August 30th, 2007

YouTube unveiled its new InVideo overlay ads this week to much fanfare. Some people think the traly studies show that clickthrough rates on InVideo ads are 5 times higher than YouTube’s banner display ads. Although, of course, many of those clickthroughs are probably accidental, similar to those annoying Flash overlay ads that take over a webpage and practically force you to click through to get rid of them. The going CPM for InVideo ads is $20. The ads can be targeted by age, gender, genre, time, and location, and can be of any length.

However, some early users find the ads to be distracting from video clips & therefore mentally intrusive, as opposed to being physically intrusive. Given that YouTube videos are typically under 10 minutes long, these ads might ruin the viewer experience of quick video consumption.

Ultimately, the internet has raised people to expect everything for free. Once free becomes free courtesy of lots of annoying ads, people block out the ads from their line of sight when it comes to display or text ads, but can’t do so with video ads. They then might end up elsewhere or using tools to block these ads.

To that end, just like the pop-up blockers and ad blocker Firefox extensions like AdBlock Plus that came before it, there is now a Firefox extension called TubeStop that prevents YouTube videos from automatically playing, but also blocks InVideo ads from being displayed.

Today, it was also announced that there is a new version of Firefox that will block all ads on websites from being displayed. As we talk about projections of over $20 billion being spent in online advertising by 2011, we sometimes forget about the user experience & the users’ willingness to bear with all the ads on websites. As long as the ads aren’t compelling, users are looking for all sorts of ways to get rid of the intrusions.