It ads nothing
My favorite website on the planet has always been YouTube. With practically an infinite library of videos, it is a one-stop shop for all the entertainment and education I need. As far as the Internet goes, I would almost say that YouTube is my best friend, except for the fact that it has been quietly stealing from me for years.
It is no secret that embedding advertisements is a key marketing strategy implemented by companies these days. Whether it is through personalized Google ads, Facebook posts tailored to an individual’s interests, or sponsored Twitter ads, marketers have infiltrated online user presence. However, most online ads are easy to avoid and do not take much time to scroll over. Their annoyance is limited by our ability to ignore their minor intrusions.
This brings us back to YouTube: the wonderful world of wasting your time. Like your favorite roommate that casually eats all of your groceries, YouTube’s strategically placed advertisements before videos add a cool 30 seconds to whatever you are trying to enjoy. This is okay when the video is 20 minutes or even 10 minutes long. But, as I was cruelly reminded a few days ago, it takes on a different form of punishment when there is a 30 second advertisement before a 45 second video. For those math majors out there, the viewing time just increased 67 percent.
Extrapolate that example over multiple videos and you could find yourself spending 150 percent of the time you originally intended due to the excessive advertising. Not to mention I have never met a person who asked to watch the “Taken 3” trailer 17 times in one hour. I might forgive the site if it was more creative with the ads, but they seem to have an ad of the day that they will replay until you despise the featured product.
So how has an avid YouTuber responded to the subtle injustice? For one, the site is no longer my number one source of playing music. That belongs to Spotify. Sure, I have to pay $4 per month to skip all of the ads, but I’d pay $4 any day for the four hours I am inevitably saving myself by unchaining myself from YouTube ads.
As for my other primary use, sports highlights, I no longer will search YouTube but instead will Google a highlight to find the Vine link. The average football play lasts seven seconds. Why wait thirty seconds to watch one play when I can watch it twice in a Vine?
My visits to YouTube have shrunk from multiple times per day to now maybe once a week. Do I still waste time? Yes. But at least I am the one doing it.