Would you sit through 11 consecutive ads?
YouTube is arguably the most popular long-form video streaming platform where a community of individual creators make up the majority of the content. YouTube pays these creators for raking in views, because each free-tier viewer sees advertisements, which earn YouTube money. Viewers like you and me could purchase a Premium membership for good riddance from ads. Now would be the opportune moment as viewers worldwide complain YouTube is testing a system (and your patience) with up to 11 unskippable ads before your chosen video even begins.
Ads on YouTube have always been short, and longer ones are usually skippable after five seconds and limited in number. The platform also has mid-video ads for longer content if the creators allow it. Here, some such breaks also last a few seconds only, but other skippable advertisements can go on for minutes.
However, since the beginning of this year, YouTube has been showing an increasing number of ads before videos even begin. Redditors note how a year ago, the platform had up to three 15-second unskippable ads in breaks. In January, the platform upped it to 20-second ads, while three consecutive 15-second ads were spotted in March. A week ago, Twitter was abuzz with free tier YouTube watchers complaining about eight to 11 consecutive unskippable ads of varying duration preceding or interrupting a video. On the bright side, most of these ads don't appear to be long.
YouTube took to Twitter to acknowledge the complaintssaying these kinds of ads are called bumper ads, and each is only six seconds long. The company's tweet suggests viewers use the in-app feedback tool to express their chagrin, but we wonder if this is the beginning of an end to YouTube’s free tier as we know it, or just an aggressive attempt to sway more people in favor of a Premium subscription.