Recently, YouTube has increased the average length of their commercials. I dont have a scientific study but I had become used to long ads that I could skip after 5 seconds. Now, they are 10-15 second ads that I can’t skip and usually 2 of them back to back. Plus, there are more mid-video ads than before. (An article about the change) They also have started this year asking for a monthly subscription to get rid of the commercials with a service called YouTube Premium.
I don’t begrudge online services from making money. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, and free online services gotta sell ads. If you don’t like it, don’t use the free service. Apparently, despite viewership rising, ad revenue is decreasing.
I am not a believer in Ad Blocking. I feel that is cheating. You are using the free service, but you are not allowing them to make money through advertising. No one has the right to a free service.
With that said, I feel there is a line that makes the user experience unpleasant. I currently pay for Hulu, Disney+, HBOMax, Netflix, YouTubeTV, and Amazon Prime. I have lots of places to stream content. I enjoy Youtube in general, but the ads are starting to wear on me. I could pay for Premium, but it’s $18 a month for the family. This would be second most expensive service in my list. How could YouTube premium be more than Hulu (without commercials)?
So I didn’t buy the premium package. Instead, I dialed back my usage of YouTube. I see videos that I want to watch, but I just switch to something else instead. I am not at zero, but I probably reduced my viewership by 60%.
Advertising is a good business model, but there is a spectrum on usage. Too little and you leave money on the table. Too much and you discourage usage. The sweet spot is important to find. Don’t get greedy or you will find yourself disrupted by an upstart competitor.