I Call “Bullshit” on YouTube Skeptics

While I’m as much a fan of YouTube bashing as the next guy — check here for one example — I don’t buy the idea that people will flee if YouTube runs pre-roll advertisements.

The same argument has been made many times, including in the theaters when movies first launched ads, and pre-roll ads have never stopped people from watching. We just groan, sigh, and get used to it.


  1. Maybe, Paul, but what if there are alternatives that aren’t doing pre-rolls?

  2. Movie theatres are able to run pre-movie ads because there are relatively few players in the business, so there are relatively few alternatives for disgruntled viewers. Furthermore, many people have stopped watching movies in theatres! The success of NetFlix has been attributed to avoiding the annoyances of movie theatres – one of which is the forced ads.
    Remember also that one of the factors that allowed Google to draw so much traction so quickly was the fact that they (initally) had no sponsored ads and no banner ads in a time when other search engines suffered from the Richard Petty effect.
    YouTube isn’t the only show in town, and unlike movie theatre dominance by relative few players, they don’t own the distribution channels. I can’t see how running ads won’t send users running to other alternatives. The question is, how long can any of these services keep running without a positive revenue stream?

  3. Paul, have to respectfully disagree with you.
    1] If they don’t flee, they’ll definitely be more selective about what they watch. I would still use YT but easily reduce my views by 50%.
    Grandma on a tricycle might be funny but not that funny.
    a) Movie theatres have the advantage of a captive audience. YT can be exited on 1 click.
    b) Many people like me now show up 10-15 minutes after the official “start time” knowing full well we’ll just miss the commercials. When I do get caught watching them, I typically feel very negative towards the advertiser for taking advantage of me.
    c) People who don’t mind watching commercials at movie theatre are there to watch a highly anticipated movie. It’s an event, a night out. Most content on YT does not have that advantage.
    d) As mentioned by one of the posts already here, movie audience is way down and annoying commercials are one small but real reason for it.