Have you heard the famous saying that there are no free lunches in this world? Everything comes with a price. If something is being offered for free then rest-assured that you are the product. Apparently, BigTech may seem to be providing free services but they mint money from the crucial data of their users. However, the latest developments suggest that quality content may come at economical prices. Momentarily, this may look like a harsh decision but in the end, it’s the users that will be the greatest beneficiary of such a move.
YouTube testing 5-unskippable ads
Several Twitter and Reddit users highlighted a new ad format for the video-sharing platform, YouTube. Many YouTube ‘Free’ users started complaining on these social blogging sites that they have been receiving 5 ads instead of 2, before the start of any intended YouTube video.
YouTube is testing 5 unskippable Ads yes you heard it right 😂😅 pic.twitter.com/rP0jCj8hQC
— Manoj Saru (@ManojSaru) September 13, 2022
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YouTube is testing 5 unskippable Ads before starting video. 🥵
— Abhishek Yadav (@yabhishekhd) September 13, 2022
It was noted that not all YouTube ‘Free’ users received 5-ads before the start of a video. This meant that the video sharing platform, YouTube, is testing this new ad format for selected YouTube Free users. Currently, most free users receive up to 2 ads before the start of their videos. Further, there are many speculations as to whether this new ad format, bumper ads, will be rolled out to all the YouTube users, free or not. Moreover, the timeline of the actual roll out, if it happens, is yet unknown.
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Later it became clear that YouTube, wholly owned by Google, has silently implemented a new ad format from September 2022. Some of the YouTube users, who have not subscribed to YouTube Premium, are receiving up to 5-unskippable advertisements before the actual video starts.
In response to the tweet of a YouTube free user, YouTube made it official that it is testing this new ad format. From the official account of Team YouTube, it was made clear that it may happen for some users. This new ad format is called bumper ads. Moreover, these bumper ads are unskippable. However, YouTube stated that these ads are shorter in length and will only last for 6 seconds each.
hmm…this may happen with a certain type of ad format called bumper ads, since they're only up to 6 seconds long. if you'd like, you can send feedback directly from YouTube via the send feedback tool
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) September 7, 2022
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Additionally, YouTube categorically stated that if both Free and Premium users have any feedback regarding YouTube’s ad policy, they can directly send their feedback via the “Send Feedback” tool on the company’s video-sharing platform.
Reportedly, YouTube, which was once valued at $1.65 billion in 2005, earned around $20 billion in ad revenue in 2020 alone. This was more than it could muster from its YouTube Premium services.
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Contrary to that, YouTube Premium users receive no ads at all. They have special privileges that allow them to download videos for offline playback. They also get access to more content across the platform. It also offers YouTube Music Premium that allows uninterrupted experience for its users.
Data is the new oil
Data security and user privacy are the two most important things in the minds of the users. There has been a long demand in civilised societies to bring laws limiting big tech companies from using crucial user data to their advantage and earn monetary benefits. However, with the subscription model of YouTube, users get more advanced features and command over their personalised data and crucial information. Apart from this major advantage, its subscription model will monetarily benefit the content creators. It will also help YouTube as a platform to invest more in advanced technology and upgrading the quality of content on its platform.
Reportedly, YouTube’s creative entrepreneurs contributed around Rs 6,800 crore to the Indian economy in Financial Year 2020 alone. This has generated new sources of income and has been a life changing story for many ordinary citizens. Now, due to the new ad-format and subscription model such stories of success will increase in number with each passing day.
The 5-unskippable ads is a win-win in every scenario for YouTube, the content creators and common users. First, it will push more users to its subscription model, in turn, adding more revenue to its basket. Even in case of less than desired result, it will yield more revenue than its current YouTube Premium does, as noted earlier. For creators it is an obvious positive as their content will earn more revenues. On the part of the current free users, they will get quality content with more control over their crucial data plus reducing the time wasted on unverified and frivolous contents, owing to its free service model. As, with cost attached to anything comes due focus on the quality and quantity of the content consumed.
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