Is Larry Page now writing headlines for CNET?
Google’s YouTube, copying the “ticker ad” concept that VideoEgg introduced nearly a year ago, yesterday announced that it is slapping advertisements across the bottom of some of its videos. In a blog post titled “You Drive the YouTube Experience” (yeah, I’ve been dying to have ads injected into the videos I watch), the company says that the ads are “animated overlays that appear on the bottom 20 percent of a video. If you’re interested by what you see there, clicking on the overlay launches a deeper interactive video ad that we think is relevant and entertaining.” Sweet!
Now, obviously, it’s always been inevitable that YouTube would incorporate advertising into the videos it plays – whether or not Google acquired it. YouTube is not a public service; it’s a business. What gets me, though, is not just the patronizing spin that Google is putting on the news – “as always,” its announcement concludes, “we’re looking to improve the experience with you in mind” – but the way some respectable news organizations are echoing the company’s nonsense. Here, for instance, is the headline CNET is running on its story:
YouTube tests viewer-friendly ad format
What? Viewer-friendly? Is it viewer-friendly because it’s arguably less annoying than having an ad run in advance of a video? That’s like saying that being hit on the head once with a hammer is a pleasant experience because it’s not as bad as being hit on the head twice with a hammer.
I liked the reaction of the first viewer to leave a comment on the YouTube blog: “yuck.” If you’re going to stick ads on the videos, go ahead and stick ads on the videos. But, please, don’t tell us you’re doing it on our behalf. We’re not idiots.
UPDATE: CNET has changed the headline on its story to:
YouTube tests 10-second ad format