First it was Do Not Track (from our blog yesterday) and this morning there’s a story about YouTube allowing users to skip ads that play prior to the video you’ve selected. It’s a format they’re calling “TrueView.” Honestly, I was never crazy about advertisers being able to force you to watch a commercial that way anyway, so I was somewhat excited to hear about this. We’ve worked on a few videos here at Trademark Productions both for ourselves and for our clients, which is one of the development services we offer, and it’s difficult to fathom having to sit through a commercial just to see our work.
The one thing you’ll want to know up front is that this feature is still in the testing stages and is only accessible if you have an account on YouTube. No account? Sit back and enjoy the advertisements. The irony here is that the advertisers actually like this idea. Why? Because YouTube is also playing around with allowing viewers to choose what commercial they’d like to see before their selected video plays. I suspect that if I’m going to be forced to endure an advertisement, I might actually like to have a little say in what I walk away from for thirty seconds until my video starts. Or, if I’m remotely interested in the product, perhaps I’ll sit there and watch it. It totally depends on my attention span at that moment. Things aren’t looking too favorable when it comes to advertisements, though.
Something else worth mentioning regarding ads that can be skipped is that this can happen only after they’ve played for five seconds. The thing is this… I’ve seen this feature on other sites where ads can be skipped after five seconds and, I don’t know about you, but have you ever been able to get an ad to stop playing right away by clicking on “skip ad?” I can’t. We’ve had huge developments in online gaming and response times on web sites, but we can’t get an ad to stop playing anytime soon in order to get to the content we want?
Given the opportunity and if the skipping ads thing doesn’t eventually catch on, I’ll choose the lesser of evils and say that I’d prefer to select the ad that will play. Not only does it allow advertisers a better idea of what folks are interested in, it actually forces me to consider making a selection I wouldn’t normally give the time of day. And if it’s any good, maybe I will try the product. Then again, maybe I won’t. Tempt me, advertisers. Tempt me.