Starting tomorrow, YouTube will include advertising within videos. My initial reaction to this news was one of much dismay. I generally find advertising to be intolerable. I rarely watch tv largely because I hate to sit through commercials. Most tv shows would barely be worth sitting through without the commercials. Similarly, I generally get annoyed watching music videos on sites like Rhapsody because they show the same annoying commercials before every video. This is especially frustrating because I pay to use Rhapsody to listen to music.
However, as I read more about YouTube’s new plan my dismay was slightly reduced. The ads will not be short videos that play before the video that the user chooses to watch. They will be banner type ads that show up during the video. They will last for 15 seconds and only take up 20% of the video player. If YouTube feels like it must include advertisements within videos, I think this is so much better than “pre-roll” ads. It still kind of sucks though.