YouTube users say “No!” to overlay ads
August 24, 2007
Overlay ads on YouTube videos suck!
That's what most users seem to be saying, if the majority of comments posted on YouTube's official blog are to be believed. (See article: You Drive the YouTube Experience)
On August 21, video sharing site YouTube announced that they have started incorporating "in-video" advertisements on select partner videos. These ads are semi-transparent overlays that cover the bottom 20% of the video screen and then disappear after 10 seconds if no action is done. If a user clicks on it, the video ad plays in the same player but in a slightly smaller size. At the end of the ad or if the ad clip is closed, the original video resumes playing.
Here's a screenshot of a sample overlay ad promoting the upcoming "Hairspray" movie on a FordModels' video about a beauty tip.
A lot of YouTube users appear to vehemently oppose the new advertising method. (Click "Read More" to view some of these comments.)
As of this writing, "No to overlay ads on YouTube videos" comments outnumber "We're fine with these ads" comments 9 to 1. Some furious members are even threatening to "cancel membership and leave YouTube."
Below are some more YouTube's member comments:
airheadednut (posted Aug 23, 2007, 11:05 AM):
youtube used to be great. Now there is too much censorship and problems. Videos don't play right any more. Pages take way too long to load. Spammers are taking over and all things that made youtube worth joining are gone. Now on top off all that you want to run ads over top of videos, some of which are very artistic and creative. What are you crazy? Things are just getting worse. Its time for me to fly.
FunnelofFun (posted Aug 23, 2007, 10:34 AM):
Maybe put the ad at the beginning of the video or right after, not ON TOP of the actual video, because that can result in people missing key information in a video. I realize money needs to be made, but I don't think this idea is going to go over too well with loyal YouTube users.
mergestudios (posted Aug 23, 2007, 05:50 AM):
If it means more free, better content to the user from networks and music labels… I am all for it… I think its a great idea… An AD in the lower 1/5 of the page is less distracting then a 3 minute commercial break… IGNORE ALL THE PEOPLE BELOW ME….. THIS IS A GREAT MOVE ON YOUTUBE'S PART….
seeDerekNow (posted Aug 22, 2007, 04:17 PM)
Way to take a great site and flush it down the toilet! As if we didnt have to deal with enough advertising. Oh and by the way, those little "overlays" are extremely annoying. I refuse to watch any videos that forces ads down my throat. Good luck YouTube. Please don't ruin this site with annoying ads.
LeonWestbrook (posted Aug 21, 2007, 09:22 PM)
Its was bound it happen. Nothing is free.
Most of these comments appear to be in contrary with the results of Google's studies on overlay advertisements conducted early this year. As reported by BusinessWeek, Google found out that "up to 10 times more people click on [overlay ads] than on conventional banner video ads, and fewer than 10% actively close the overlay. Once they click, 75% of viewers watch the whole ad."
So do YouTube users really, really dislike overlay ads or are they just saying it but, still, will continue patronizing YouTube and might even click on the ads at times?
We think it is the latter. Unless users discover a new video sharing site that can trump YouTube in all aspects, these users will stay. Despite the attempts of many sites in the past, no better YouTube alternative does seem to exist.