YouTube – What’s up with the Ad Avalanche?

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Wow, another 15-second sales pitch? YouTube users have noticed a suspicious increase in non-skippable ads on YouTube.


You can’t escape. Click on an exciting thumbnail and WHAM – you’re hit with a bright, stentorian voice gushing over the best grammar checker or share-riding system that ‘everyone’ needs to try.

Compared to early 2019, the volume of ads on the world’s most popular video sharing platform has snowballed. But what’s driving this eye-watering increase?

Google, one of the largest and most profitable tech companies in the world, acquired YouTube in 2006. Since then, the platform has morphed into an undeniable success.

Google successfully monetised YouTube in 2007 by selling ads. These are typically short videos that play before or during a YouTube video. Most can to be skipped after the first five seconds, depending on their length.

While just one pre-video ad was previously standard, YouTube users have recently reported more instances of two pre-video ads. The number of mid-video ads has apparently also increased. Other evidence suggests that YouTube ads are getting longer on average.


Many fifteen-second ads are now non-skippable – forcing users to watch them in their entirety before reaching the actual video.


Why would Google suddenly increase their YouTube ads?


While YouTube has enjoyed a top-spot in the video-streaming sphere for some time, it’s an increasingly crowded space. Competitors Facebook and Netflix have expanded into video-streaming, drawing attention away from YouTube. To address this competition, Google may find benefit in bumping the ratio of ads to content during YouTube videos.


How many adverts can users take?

An official increase in ads could be a lifesaver in increasing revenue and offset the cost of competition in the crowded online market. Most consumers appreciate that advertising helps to keep their favourite content free.


However – multiple, non-skippable YouTube ads may interfere with user enjoyment. Google may risk losing these users to competitors who display fewer ads.


Google has not yet released a statement about a “new normal” of longer, more frequent YouTube ads. However, anecdotal evidence from users is mounting.


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