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YouTube Launches Ads You Can Skip 249

Posted by samzenpus
from the skip-button dept.
wiredmikey writes "A new format that YouTube has been testing for a while officially launched today. YouTube is launching TrueView, a new ad format that lets users skip over ads they aren't interested in — and advertisers are actually okay with it. When a TrueView ad unit begins playing, you'll notice a five second countdown timer — as soon as that's up, you'll see an arrow that will let you skip the remainder of the ad and get back to the content you wanted to see, or you can choose to keep on watching the ad."
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YouTube Launches Ads You Can Skip

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  • by Rix (54095) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @08:00PM (#34412112)

    Please don't show them to me, you're just wasting my time and your bandwidth.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      But then how will these marketers be able to try to convince you to buy a bunch of shit you don't really need?

      • by icebike (68054)

        Maybe they have figured out that making you sit thru an ad on the web just pisses you off and makes you angry at them, and nobody listens to them anyway.

        If the user bails out before the ad completely streams its a pretty good sign of negative advertising.

        If I see one more "Skip this Welcome Page" I'm going to scream. I close them arbitrarily. If they have sound I never go back to that site.

        • by DarkOx (621550) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @10:45PM (#34413272) Journal

          The trick with advertising in general is to make an impression. Any impression is better than no impression because people will generally when face with a decision go with the familiar over an unknown even when the familiar is an irritant. There is a line you can cross thought where people form a strong negative impression.

          Making an impression is getting progressively harder because of all the noise, and lack of novelty. It used to be you could throw up some bill boards with catchy slogans in pretty plain print and get the job done, not so today. We have seen it all and someone is trying to do something louder and flashier right next to you. Ideally you'd make a positive impression but that is hard when you are turning to the proverbial blink tag to get noticed at all, most advertizers are happy just getting noticed today.

          Using technology to force people to view an add is crossing that bright line for lots of people where its not just irritating its infuriating at least if you do to much of it. Google might have really hit the nail upon the head here. If you are not interested in an ad you don't get a sour grapes impression of the product going forward by being force to watch. If you are interested you can watch it and in anycase you are being asked to decide if its interesting in order to dismiss it so you are at least recognizing what the product is and associating an name with it. Those are all huge wins in advertisers books.

          This is pretty much applied media studies 101, which is about the limits of my knowledge on the subject but the whole thing makes allot of sense, so much sense I am glad someone is brave enough to try it.

          • by icebike (68054)

            You might be on to something here...

            In addition google gets yet another metric (a click) making a measurable event that they may find a way to charge for. (Hey even negative feed back to the advertiser is worth something).

            Google has also announced they have a way to filter out BAD advertisers in their search result: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/being-bad-to-your-customers-is-bad-for.html [blogspot.com]

            So that's two wins for google in the same week.

            • In addition google gets yet another metric (a click) making a measurable event that they may find a way to charge for. (Hey even negative feed back to the advertiser is worth something).

              Right, knowing what you don't like increases your value to Google as a viewer. Google will be able to charge by the ad watched rather than the ad offered, which is hugely more valuable to the advertiser.

              Heck, I could have used some ads for studdable snowtires yesterday, and Google should have known I was researching them.

        • by epine (68316)

          If I see one more "Skip this Welcome Page" I'm going to scream. I close them arbitrarily. If they have sound I never go back to that site.

          Cover shock is nothing new. I used to feel the same way about nightclubs guarded by self-important muffin men. On the other side of the door, a wall of noise and twenty varieties of macro brew.

          Google is weak in setting up a personal filter for places you never wish to visit. They are migrating traditional saturation-bomb advertisers to targeted marketing very slowly, one sip at a time.

          The other factor to bear in mind is that people are unreliable in assessing their immunity to the slime factor (ads you d

    • by Nyder (754090)

      Please don't show them to me, you're just wasting my time and your bandwidth.

      Actually, with providers only giving you a limited amount of bandwidth, they are wasting your bandwidth.

    • by syousef (465911)

      Please don't show them to me, you're just wasting my time and your bandwidth.

      I guess you'll just have to skip YouTube :(

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jcoy42 (412359)

      I'm sure adblock plus [adblockplus.org] will continue to function as advertised.

      Seriously, is anyone using /. still seeing ads? It's a non-issue.

    • by duguk (589689) <dug@[ ]g.co.uk ['fra' in gap]> on Thursday December 02, 2010 @12:22AM (#34413806) Homepage Journal

      Please don't show them to me, you're just wasting my time and your bandwidth.

      You have got to be kidding me.

      You expect to be able to watch it for free
      You don't want to watch adverts to fund it
      And you don't want to pay for it

      What other methods of income for Youtube and free TV do you suggest for them to survive?

      • by Rix (54095)

        Of course. Why wouldn't I want those things?

        However, I didn't say they shouldn't show ads, just that I, personally, am not interested in any of them. Some people are more receptive to advertising than others, and I'm pretty far into the low end of that scale.

        Slashdot doesn't seem to have a problem with me opting out of their ads...

  • Put up an image for a few seconds then take it down.

    Or buy a banner ad along the side like normal spammers.

    • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @08:19PM (#34412274) Journal
      Actually, your initial suggestion has a valid point buried within it. I think the 5 second adds are what companies should be aiming for in the current market

      I don't think companies seeking or publishing advertising realize how diluted the ad experience gets when there's so many ads with so much content to each.

      For example, the current TV ad saturation is 22 minutes of program to 8 minutes of ads for a 30 minute slot or over 25% of the total time. For some online videos it's even worse - for example I've been subjected to a 30 second commercial in return for viewing a 45 second clip (thanks to CNN.com.) With that type of trade-off, instead of the viewing experience being enjoyable, the onslaught of ads begin to make the viewing experience a chore and overall the ads become less memorable.

      I actually applaud Youtube for this implementation because 5 seconds is enough to get a rudimentary message across. If that message annoys the viewer it can easily be skipped over so companies that don't advertise with fresh or entertaining content and are viewed as an annoyance can be skipped easily. Good trade-off for everyone.
      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        I have a love-hate relationship with Hulu because of the ads. I love it, because there is a lot of high quality video on Hulu. I hate it because I must sit through at least three minutes of advertisements per 20'ish minute show, yet I can skip these ads when watching TV.

        Really though, three minutes is better than non-dvr TV, so I still watch Hulu.

        • by Stregano (1285764)
          Pretty much every major website will do this to you (IGN, MTV, CNN, Hulu). I hates ads with a passion. The worst is one time I wanted to catch an episode of Viva La Bam on MTV.com (say what you want, the episode was funny), and I seriously had to watch the same Latisse eyelash commercial 4 times in a row and the commericial lasts about 45 seconds. After that, it went to another commercial and gave me the option to skip it. Or when I go to Cinnemasacre, I have to watch that stupid commercial before every
          • by brentrad (1013501)
            Seriously, this is a major pain. I watched most of a season of Stargate on Hulu, and they showed me the same commercial for every single commercial break, for every single episode.

            Even if I might have been interested in your product after seeing a commercial or two, when you annoy me by playing the same commercial over and over ad nauseam, I will actively avoid your products. I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels this way.

            I honestly don't mind an advertisement or two in exchange for free streamin
          • I generally won't click a link to an on-line video just for this reason. Even on a "news" site. Rather read it.

          • by T-Bone-T (1048702)

            Watching shows on Fox can be a pain. If you skip to another section you have to watch a few ads. That makes it difficult to find where you were in a reasonable among of time.

        • by hedwards (940851)
          It's a pretty reasonable amount of time to expect. What rubbed me the wrong way was when the introduced Hulu plus and retained the commercials and limited the amount of content there and charged $10 a month. They've dropped the price, but not far enough to justify paying for it. Especially not if they're still showing ads and limiting the content available.
          • by RulerOf (975607)
            Hulu's even worse for continuing to use flash.

            It'd be nice if they'd get their act together like Netflix did and switch to a platform that doesn't suck so damn much.
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          How do you skip them when watching tv? Oh a DVR meaning you skip recorded adds, so download the hulu videos and do the same.

          I eagerly await your comparisons of apples and oranges.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        I actually applaud Youtube for this implementation because 5 seconds is enough to get a rudimentary message across.

        So they're not really giving anything up by showing the 5 second ad with an optional additional 20 seconds for those of us who need advertising to tell you what you should want.

        You want to give us an option, give us an option not to see any video ads at all. You're making enough money from banner ads. Be grateful and leave it at that.

        [I understand that telling a corporation to be grateful fo

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          You want to give us an option, give us an option not to see any video ads at all.

          There is already another option, don't use their service.

          If I wanted to host a video I could do it on my website until my ISP got pissed off at me. Though I do have a cute little referral ad on my page so hopefully they'd take it as advertising.

      • by citizenr (871508)

        I think the 5 second adds are what companies should be aiming for in the current market

        Lets call them blipverts!

      • The people who manage Hulu's advertising must be complete morons.

        My favorite example is that they think you're going to sit through a 1:30 block of ads in the middle of your show. If you reload the page, it pops up a 15-30 second ad like you were just starting the video, and takes you right back to where you were. With a little F5 action I cut on average 45 seconds off of each ad break on Hulu. Seriously brain-dead.

        The more commercials you force me to watch, the less likely I am to buy any of your shit. Thi

    • While dumbass spammers may want to shove as much shit as they can at everything, professional advertisers don't. They don't want to piss potential consumers off, they don't want to waste time and money on it, and so on. They want to show you ads that you are interested in. If you don't care about cars because you don't drive, they don't want to show you that since it'll do no good, they get no ROI. However if you do care about videogames, they want to show you ads for those.

      Not only does this apply to indiv

    • You must have missed the Slashdot article on this. They are now providing 5 seconds ads, and you can opt to watch a longer one that begins in the exact same way by simply not clicking on the little button.
  • There are ads users want to see?

    • Re:What? (Score:4, Funny)

      by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @08:08PM (#34412178) Journal

      Only when browsing porn. Thats the only time I've found pop ups convenient.

    • No but there are videos on YouTube I'd like to see. Go look up the phrase 'no free lunch'.

    • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @08:22PM (#34412316)

      There are ads users want to see?

      Yes, there are a some ads (which ones vary from user to user) which promote products or services that a user was not previously aware of and in which the user is interested and which are, in fact, ads the user wants to see.

      Heck, people voluntarily choose to watch infomercials, which are really long ads that aren't even attached to other content.

      • by Qzukk (229616)

        Yes, there are a some ads (which ones vary from user to user) which promote products or services that a user was not previously aware of and in which the user is interested and which are, in fact, ads the user wants to see.

        Not only that, but sometimes ads are pretty cool [youtube.com].

    • Honestly, most years I watch the superbowl for the commercials (unless a team I care about actually made it.)

      When the content is fresh and entertaining then yes, people will want to watch some ads. The most recent one for me that comes to mind is the Axe Clean Your Balls [youtube.com] commercial. Sure if you've seen it before, you may want to skip it, but that and similar ones (Bud, Miller Light, Geico, or other firms with good ad concepts) with fresh content may be pretty good at attracting attention.

      P.S. - as a
    • Yes, there are tons of entertaining, informative, or otherwise positive advertising experiences. On one end, you have ultra-tailored interest-based ads ("Oh awesome, I didn't know there was a new Squaresoft RPG coming out!") and on the other end you have ads for products you don't really care about, but are fun to watch regardless. (see also: people who watch the Superbowl just for the commercials)

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Absolutely there are.

  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @08:05PM (#34412152) Journal

    I can tell in two seconds if it's an ad I've already seen, and in that case, forcing me to watch it again is just annoying me and wasting your bandwidth.

    • Nonsense. Repetition is the soul of advertising. Here, try this: "Oscar Meyer wiener". That song just came on in your head, didn't it? Repetition works, as much as ignorant people think it doesn't work on them.

      Actually, after writing this, I have "Funky Cold Medina" playing in my mind. LOL.

      • Here, try this: "Oscar Meyer wiener". That song just came on in your head, didn't it?

        Nope, actually took a bit of thought to remember it.

        Know why? Because I avoid advertising. I buy or rent DVDs, or I torrent, but I don't watch network TV. I do watch YouTube, but I avoid channels that allow video ads. I don't use a preconfigured adblock, but I do block annoying ads, and I tend to avoid sites that have interstitials.

        So, force me to wait five seconds, and you won't make me memorize your little jingle or slogan. You'll make me go out of my way to avoid seeing your ad, which is likely going to

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        I can never remember that song. I miss out on all kinds of ads since I use netflix. I would be glad to pay for hulu if that removed the ads.

      • by brentrad (1013501)
        Yes, I instantly thought of that song. So the commercials were successful in planting the idea of Oscar Meyer wieners in my head.

        However, did that make we want to go out and buy some hot dogs? I don't seek out Oscar Meyer brand hot dogs in particular, and I'm not going to run out and get any right now.

        So I'm not sure if you could necessarily call that ad campaign successful, unless it had a benefit on Oscar Meyer's sales. Who knows, maybe it did.

        Another example of this is the Taco Bell dog. Taco
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Actually, after writing this, I have "Funky Cold Medina" playing in my mind. LOL.

        I've seen the future. You know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin, sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing, "I'm an Oscar Meyer wiener." (Or perhaps Funky Cold Medina.

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      In case you always skip, five seconds allows them to grab your attention if it is a product you may be interested in.

    • I can tell in two seconds if it's an ad I've already seen, and in that case, forcing me to watch it again is just annoying me and wasting your bandwidth.

      Which is why Coca Cola has been so successful. They realized that they only needed to show someone their ads once and would hook them for life. No.. wait, that's not right..

  • While most of us would say we watch TV for the show, not for the advertisement, there are certain ads and products and movie trailers that do catch our attention. This idea of letting you choose which ads you do or don't want to see the whole of allows the marketer to target ads towards you all the better. And after 5 seconds you have all the product experience you need -- the next 25 seconds is essentially extra money an advertiser has spent on their commercial.

    In fact, if we had five 5 second commercial

    • If networks enforced quality standards on ads and didn't repeat them each 6 times an hour, people would stop turning the channel for commercials. You could even rent out writers and production staff to make sure the final product is going to meet your standards (cheaply. You're making money on the ad, not the production. Just cover your costs). Whichever of the big 3 networks that figures that out first is going to make a trillion dollars while DVRs drive the rest out of business.

  • Remember when Google was still new, and people said 'I don't mind their ads - they're unobtrusive, and they're often actually relevant?' I actually clicked on a few Google ads, but I haven't for several years (although I did click on one when I google'd my name, and it told me that I could buy me on eBay). I'd search for something, and there would often be an ad for someone selling whatever it was that I was interested in buying.

    Today, I saw an ad at the start of a video hosted on YouTube. The ad was

    • The ad was for IE9. Now, considering the fact that IE9 only works on Windows, and I visited it from a Mac (something quite apparent from the user agent string that my browser sent to Google), you'd have thought that it would be pretty obvious that I was not in the target market.

      That wasn't an ad for IE9 (MS doesn't sell IE9 per se) it was an ad for windows.
      You are in the target market for that.

      I started to post this as a joke and then I realized it was probably true.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        I constantly get windows 7 ads, and I only run linux. I wish I tell the advertisers to stop bothering me about products I will never use.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          There's no way for them to tell that you're not a gamer and as such there's no way for them to get a hold on your nuts.

          • He already said that he runs Linux. ;)

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              Sad but true, I spend more time gaming on Linux than any other platform. Indeed, I am sadly missing my 4X games and the ol' Xbox 360 just ain't cutting it while my machine is out of commission. I guess I ought to pull the disk from my PC and slap it in the living room machine for a moment, they're both athlon 64 with nvidia card and it ought to boot right up. Waiting impatiently for G-Skill to send me some RAM under RMA, PDQ I hope :(

    • It wouldn't surprise me if Microsoft had specifically asked for that ad to be shown to Mac users. After all, you're a potential new customer for Windows.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      The target market to see IE9 ads is whomever MS determines is the target market. If it's something you don't have, wouldn't that make you the ideal candidate to advertise the product to?
      You could have bootcamp, you could do virtualization, and so on.

  • by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @08:15PM (#34412230)
    "When a TrueView ad unit begins playing, you'll notice a five second countdown timer — as soon as that's up, you'll see an arrow that will let you skip the remainder of the ad and get back to the content you wanted to see, or you can choose to keep on watching the ad."

    So at 5 seconds everyone participates in a no-opt-out survey on whether or not the ad interests them. No wonder advertisers like it! They get to sell their products to everyone for 5 seconds at a cut rate, to known-interested parties for X seconds at a normal rate, PLUS info on which ads get the most dropouts, least dropouts, and presumably WHEN they drop out.

    • by meza (414214)

      And not to forget: keeping the viewer's 100% attention just so they don't miss the skip button once it appears. Forcing the viewer to interact with the ad is probably more worth than them actually watching the remaining 15s of the ad.

    • by AarghVark (772183)
      I'd rather have this than a website putting up a paywall to support themselves.
      I'd rather click a button to end the ad and tell someone their ad sucked, then pay for a subscription. Especially considering some videos on youtube aren't worth the bits they are stored on.

      Besides, this might actually lead to halfway interesting advertisements.
    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      so it's a great idea for everyone involved, advertisers are better able to produce interesting ads, and viewers spend less time viewing ads and especially less on ads that do not interest them at all.
    • by syousef (465911)

      "When a TrueView ad unit begins playing, you'll notice a five second countdown timer — as soon as that's up, you'll see an arrow that will let you skip the remainder of the ad and get back to the content you wanted to see, or you can choose to keep on watching the ad."

      So at 5 seconds everyone participates in a no-opt-out survey on whether or not the ad interests them. No wonder advertisers like it! They get to sell their products to everyone for 5 seconds at a cut rate, to known-interested parties for X seconds at a normal rate, PLUS info on which ads get the most dropouts, least dropouts, and presumably WHEN they drop out.

      I wouldn't mind ads nearly as much if they weren't a constant stream of brain dead insulting lies that assume I'm a moron. If you actually informed me about the product and didn't try to pretend it is the difference between being unhappy and dancing around on a beach with half naked supermodels, I might pay some attention. And while I'm whining, I wish they'd stop filling my mailbox LITERALLY every day with paper catalogs but then nickel and diming me for the cost of a filmsy thin plastic bag because they'r

      • I'm with you. If the ads had been less intrusive, less annoying and less manipulative earlier in my life I might not mind them so much. But as is I think I've been ruined for life on advertising. Now I have not the slightest compunction about blocking them and avoiding them and screwing the advertisers if at all possible.

        What really bothers me is the way they're starting to substitute for culture. In school and now at work people discuss their favorite advertisements as must as their favorite music, books o

    • by Stregano (1285764)
      MTV.com does this already, but you have to wait 30 seconds, and there is no rhyme or reason to which ones will be skipped. I have skipped one, and then it played another commercial right after it. I call shenanigans on the person that coded that stuff, but I am only showing an example that waiting 5 seconds is not bad if you watch YouTube. For somebody like me who needs to stop watching Nitro Circus, Viva La Bam and Rob and Big, the skip function would be nice if it was like what Youtube is going to impl
    • No wonder advertisers like it! They get to sell their products to everyone for 5 seconds at a cut rate, to known-interested parties for X seconds at a normal rate, PLUS info on which ads get the most dropouts, least dropouts, and presumably WHEN they drop out.

      That could be good for the consumer too. If they use the data to target the ads intelligently, some would consider it a feature rather than an annoyance. I'd be happy to watch a 30 second spot that's entertaining/relevant, and Google's probably smart enough to figure that out after categorizing the ones I opt out of.

  • I will certainly make use of that feature. If extended to commercial TV, the ability to skip commercials would be a boon for my television watching habit. What I do is to mute the set whenever a commercial starts or is about to start. I can even tell when it's time for one.

    What also troubles me is the fact that commercials air at a louder speaker volume than the program they replace on the set. Troubling indeed. Why they do that I have no idea.

    Another bad thing is that in an hour of programming, about half

    • My friend, allow me to be the first to introduce you to DVR...

      • by bogaboga (793279)

        Oh I tried that with MythTV. I did not want to spend cash on proprietary systems. What I got mad about was the constant corruption of the MySQL database. I kept asking myself why they would not use PostgreSQL. When TV changed over to HD, I needed new hardware...so I just gave up!

    • by geekoid (135745)

      there loud so you can hear them in the kitchen.

      Some TVs have a feature the automatically ,lowers the volume. Or if you have an old school TV you can build a trivially easy circuit the cuts out the TV speaker when the gain jumps. It was the first real useful electronics thing I ever made. I was 9.

  • How is this "letting users" skip ads, compared to the existing Youtube popups we can close instantly?

    In other news, the chocolate ration has been increased. Go Oceania!

    • by tepples (727027)

      How is this "letting users" skip ads, compared to the existing Youtube popups we can close instantly?

      TrueView is not an alternative to the pop-ups. It's an alternative to the 15- or 30-second video ads before some partner videos.

  • It will fail skipping the ad or clicking that button will make it think you clicked the ad itself, opening the website of the advertiser.. or the button will simply fail working or the worst case scenario i've had too much of: only being able to see the ad, not the content itself...
  • Advertisers love internet ads for one reason. They are able to measure the effectiveness of the advertisements and pay for the advertising accordingly. Advertisers are going to like this because if someone isn't interested in the ad they are only paying for a five second ad instead of the minute that they would normally always have to pay for. Users like it because they can skip most of the ads so it is a win-win. The only party that loses out is Google because they won't make as much revenue, but they prob
  • a new ad format that lets users skip over ads they aren't interested in

    and

    you'll notice a five second countdown timer

    I have no choice but view the first 5 seconds. At this point I'm already getting an ad I'm not interested in. Just means that I must suffer a 5 second ad instead of a 30 second ad. It's still an ad!

  • by kharchenko (303729) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @09:03PM (#34412688)

    Now if only the online video providers could fix a problem where they try to show you the same ad dozens of times in a row, it may actually become bearable.

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