back to article YouTube tests skippable pre-roll ads

Google has begun testing pre-roll advertisements that users can freely skip in a select number of videos on YouTube. For an indefinite period of time, a small sample of videos on the website will now include a "skip this ad" button that ditches the pre-roll pitch completely. On the surface it seems a rather half-baked scheme …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    An automatic "skipping" addon will be out the next day, would be my guess.

  2. Mike Flugennock
    Thumb Down

    Not directly related, but... favorite part of every Flash site has always been the "Skip Intro" button.

    That said, I'm about ready to start posting my stuff on LiveLeak, as it hasn't been entirely ruined by advertising yet. Granted, my pieces aren't the type that get over a million views and attract ads like flies to shit, but, still...

    ...hell, as far as that goes, I'm about ready to go back to just posting mpeg4's on my local Web space, and passing the URL around.

  3. raving angry loony

    they keep trying...

    Several newspapers I read went to non-skippable (hell, non-volume control, non-anything control) ads in front of their videos. Wouldn't be so bad, but when trying to see a series of videos, being confronted with the same fucking advert a dozen times got really, really annoying. I don't watch their videos anymore. Wonder if anyone else does?

    Autoskip addon over here please! along with the stop-auto-play addon I've already got.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    "Skip to my YouTube, my darlin'"

    Surely you mean, "Skip to the 'Tube, my darlin'"?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kill it dead.

    Here's a thought. Beat them at their own game, and cost them a bundle while you're at it.

    Imagine what would happen if every ad got played through to the end. Google would get rich, but the financial consequence to the advertisers would be devastating. I bet one day of every ad playing to the end would drain the budgets of about 99% of the advertisers for the entire month, and it would totally negate any meaningful statistics about conversion.

    Can't be bothered you say? No worries, there's a botnet for that. 250,000 machines targeting the most popular YouTube vids and playing the whole ad hundreds of thousands of times per day ought to do the trick.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Covers the load time...

    YouTube vids always need a bit to load anyway. If the ad is short and covers my usual load wait for longer vids I'm doing anyway... no problem with that.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Covers the Load time


    And you don't think the ad itself is going to require downloading?

  8. Kit Temple

    Are played ads really being watched?

    The satirical website has non-skippable ads. I simply put the volume down and look at another window while I wait for it to end - or open multiple windows so that I can then re-watch the videos without the ads.

    I would probably do the same for youtube - open multiple videos and then replay them afterwards. I suppose this will work out fine for their revenues as they will shows as played all the way through, but it won't be real statistics about who is watching the ads unless they have a way to see if the video is on the active window.

    I can't complain though - I suppose if I like a site enough then I should be willing to pay a subscription to have an ad-free version of it.

  9. Filippo Silver badge

    Re: Covers the load time...

    Yeah, but the ad needs time to load as well. You'd end up waiting for a longer time overall.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just Adblock the things

    Is there anything that plugin can't do?

  11. Baying Lynch Mob
    Thumb Up

    "Skip to the 'Tube, my darlin'"

    I think "Skip to my View" would be more appropriate.

  12. Ian Ferguson

    Sponsored by?

    There are two things I think YouTube could do to make these ads acceptable;

    1. Keep them to a second or so - like the 'sponsored by' ads before some non-BBC TV programmes.

    2. (assuming the above is done) Include the ad in the main video stream. There's nothing worse than waiting minutes for a video to load on a crappy connection, only to find that the video that has loaded is merely an advert, and your actual destination video hasn't even started.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Make sense to me

    If I see a "skip ad" button I will probably use it rather than kill the browser window. If I see something interesting* in that second of ad exposure, I might actually watch the ad and the content.

    * norks, technology, !car

  14. Graham Marsden

    Mute the sound...

    ... If there's a non-skippable ad on any content I want to watch, I'll just silence the annoying thing until it's over.

    Problem sorted.

  15. Eponymous Cowherd
    Paris Hilton

    Web advertising is irretrievably f**cked.

    Since shortly after the birth of the World Wide Web, advertisers have been falling over themselves to shove the fruits of their labours in front of us by any and every means possible. In-page ads, irrespective of how "eye catching" they were, weren't doing the job, so they came up with the idea of pop-ups. Unsurprisingly (unsurprising, that is, for anyone who *isn't* an advertising executive) people found these intensely irritating and, unsurprisingly (again, if you aren't an ad exec) started to block them.

    Did the ad muppets get the message? Did they think "If we stick to *subtle* advertising people won't mind"? Of course they didn't. They just upped the ante and devised more methods of ramming their crap in front of our eyeballs and ad-blockers became more sophisticated to deal with them.

    The ad-blocker is a kind of advertising atom-bomb. It was born of an inconsiderate and irresponsible web advertising industry and has been used, successfully, to nuke adverts whenever and wherever they appear. Like other "weapons of mass destruction", once invented (out of necessity) , it cannot, and will not, be un-invented.

    The ad-blocker is here to stay. It has killed web advertising, and the ad men only have themselves to blame.

    Paris, she looks dumb enough to be an ad-exec.

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