[Updated] YouTube Ads have become a disaster & it's annoying
New updates are being added to the bottom of this story…
Original story (from July 11) follows:
Over the past few years, Facebook has established itself as one of the best when it comes to digital advertising. Many will agree that the algorithm is brilliant in the way it works, only that it hasn’t been able to stop fake news.
In YouTube, Google has an equally competitive product that is used to serve viewers with ads. The popular online video sharing platform has grown to become one of the world’s largest digital advertisers.
Valued at $1.65 billion in 2005, YouTube reportedly managed to earn about $20 billion in ad revenue in 2020 alone. This is way more than what YouTube Premium brings to the table.
And to build on such a strong performance, Google announced that it would be making changes to YouTube terms and conditions — changes that were predicted to massively increase revenue from 2021 going forward.
Dubbed “Right to Monetize”, here’s how Google worded the implications of this change:
We added this new section to let you know that, starting today we’ll begin slowly rolling out ads on a limited number of videos from channels not in YPP. This means as a creator that’s not in YPP, you may see ads on some of your videos. Since you’re not currently in YPP, you won’t receive a share of the revenue from these ads, though you’ll still have the opportunity to apply for YPP as you normally would once you meet the eligibility requirements.
In simpler terms, the “Right to Monetize” all content meant Google would start placing ads on videos from channels that aren’t in the YouTube Partner Program.
No doubt this would result in more revenue for YouTube, but it was never going to sit right with creators yet to meet YouTube’s conditions to earn money on the platform.
While the “Right to Monetize” essentially meant YouTube users would start seeing more ads than usual, things have gotten out of hand over the recent past.
Truth be told. Most YouTube viewers, including yours truly, are on the free tier. Owing to the top-notch content creators share on the platform, serving ads ensures they earn some money out of their hard work.
But lately, things haven’t been the same. Having been around YouTube for years, I recently started noticing the skyrocketing frequency of ads.
Again, as a member of the free tier, although at times annoying, watching these ads is the only way I can appreciate content creators on YouTube, but one can only tolerate so much.
I have no problem watching one ad in a short, 2-3 minute video. But lately, videos of similar duration easily serve me with two or even three ads. And apparently, it’s not just me.
A quick look on Reddit paints a pretty grim picture of the annoying YouTube ads that viewers are having to deal with on different platforms.
No matter what channels I watch, I’m getting ads every 3 minutes. This is getting ridiculous. I don’t think the channel owners are doing this. I know they control how many and where the ads are, but I get the feeling that youtube themselves are behind this more frequent and repetitive (yes, the SAME ad 3 times in a 10 minute video) ad barrage.
Listen, I get it. YouTube is free, and they need to make their money somehow, and their two main sources are either Premium, or ads. I’ve never had a problem with the ads. I gotta pay the toll to cross the bridge, so to speak. But after I sit through two ads, I feel like I’ve paid my dues. So when I do, and then go to rotate my phone to switch to landscape and TWO MORE ADS APPEAR?!?!?!? That’s where I draw the line.
It gets even worse when one has to sit through the same ad multiple times in a single video. I mean, there’s plenty of stuff YouTube could show me, but the algorithm decides that it’s okay to keep showing the same ad over and over again.
Yeah, I get it. There’s always the option to turn to ad blockers or even use YouTube Vanced for those on Android, but ethically speaking, this would deny some netizens their right to earn money out of their hard work.
The other ethical option besides sitting through annoying ads is to get a YouTube Premium account. But in typical Google fashion, this product is limited to select regions.
It’s gotten to the point where I just can’t take it anymore. They are on every video and sometimes several of them per video. I used to use an app called Newpipe that worked great. Nothing seems to be like that for iPhone. I would just get YouTube Premium but apparently Google doesn’t want my business in my country.
Even if you happen to be in a supported region, you’d probably be among the multiple YouTube users whose premium accounts haven’t been enabled despite making the required payment.
And this goes to show what a mess YouTube has become over the recent past. Whether it’s a tactic to make us move to the paid-for tier remains an allegation, but even if there’s some truth in it, making YouTube Premium available globally should be the first priority.
Given that YouTube commands a following of over 2 billion users, Google needs to take some time and address the increasingly annoying ads issue on the platform.
And this needs to happen sooner than later or risk losing a section of loyal viewers. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section and Twitter poll below.
NOTE: This article will be updated after a week with the poll results.
Update 1 (July 18)
IST 02:45: The results for the poll are out now. An overwhelming majority – 75% – says their current experience with YouTube ads is terrible.
While around 18% said there is nothing unusual with YouTube ads, the reamining voted for YouTube Premium as their preferred choice.
In case you missed the poll, you are welcome to share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
Update 2 (October 21)
IST 05:45: In case you missed it, YouTube has decided to ban ads on all videos that have any misinformation about climate change. Well, that’s a win-win for everyone.
Now we can only hope that those ads don’t pile up on other videos.
Update 3 (February 24, 2022)
Update 4 (March 10, 2022)
07:50 pm (IST): While users continue to report excessive ads on YouTube videos, TeamYouTube on Twitter said that they have limited the frequency on how many ads should serve on a video.
Moreover, if users continue to see many ads in a single video, then they can share feedback in order to help the team improve the user experience.
Update 5 (April 06, 2022)
12:28 pm (IST): It appears that YouTube is not getting rid of the ads anytime soon. The company is now offering free TV shows with ads.
If you are willing to watch ads in between the shows, then you’ll be able to watch 4000 episodes of TV for free. More on that here.
Update 6 (April 25, 2022)
11:39 pm (IST): DoubleVerify becomes first to get YouTube measurement accreditation from Media Rating Council.
This means that the advertisers will now have even more transparency and insights into their ad campaigns. However, YouTube users will continue to be flooded with ads.
Update 7 (April 28, 2022)
11:55 am (IST): As if ads on YouTube videos were not enough, YouTube Shorts is also testing ads as daily views surpass 30 billion. More on that here.
Update 8 (April 30, 2022)
12:38 pm (IST): YouTube has finally added the ability to turn off/limit certain types of ads. It includes sensitive ads such as alcohol, dating, gambling, pregnancy and parenting, and weight loss.
Update 9 (May 02, 2022)
01:45 pm (IST): YouTube’s ads revenue reportedly diminished in the first quarter of 2022 due to war in Ukraine. Moreover, Apple’s data restriction is also one of the reasons for the low ad revenue. More on that here.
Update 10 (May 11, 2022)
02:01 pm (IST): Here’s a workaround to get rid of long, unskippable ads on YouTube using these simple steps:
– When you see an ad on YouTube, just press the ‘i’ button and click on ‘Stop seeing this ad’.
– Press ‘Yes’, and then select a reason.
– The video will immediately start playing. (Source)
Update 11 (May 12, 2022)
06:19 pm (IST): Google has introduced a new tool at the 2022 I/O developer conference that will be available later this year. It will allow users to control how the ads are personalized on YouTube. More on that here.
Update 12 (May 17, 2022)
04:00 pm (IST): While many users are still disturbed by YouTube ads, Russian YouTubers are facing huge losses after the ban on YouTube adverts in the country.
According to a report, a Russian YouTuber claims that he will lose $500,000 in a year due to this ban. More on that here.
Update 13 (May 23, 2022)
12:39 pm (IST): YouTube has launched YouTube Frequency, a tool that allows advertisers to set weekly frequency goals for ads. This means that advertisers can control the number of times users get to see the same ad in a week.
Update 14 (May 25, 2022)
01:24 pm (IST): Google has announced that it is gradually rolling out ads on YouTube Shorts to all advertisers. More on that here.
Update 15 (Sept. 13, 2022)
06:46 pm (IST): YouTube is reportedly testing a new approach that will show 5 ads before the video starts. That means those who aren’t subscribed to YouTube premium will get 5 ads instead of 2. More on that here.
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