YouTube Pre-Roll Ads Drive Users to Install AdBlock

By Kimberlee Morrison 

YouTube video Brandweer Nederweert

It’s no secret that Google primarily makes its money from advertising. In fact, advertising makes up 97 percent — $33.3 billion last year — of Google revenue. Advertising may be the big money maker for the tech giant but YouTubers are growing dissatisfied with Youtube’s pre-roll advertisements.

Spend any time on YouTube and you too will run into ads that seem wildly off topic for your interests, 30 seconds long and unskippable. To counteract the unskippable pre-roll ads, many YouTube users have taken to installing Adblock Plus, which has become the number one extension for Mozilla’s Firefox web browser, with 18.5 million daily users.

The problem with installing adblock is that it doesn’t discriminate against types of ads or types of content creators. Independent video makers on YouTube often rely on revenue sharing from advertising to supplement their income; for some, the ad revenue has become their sole source of income. It’s easy to see the number of views you get over time, as compared to the number of ad impressions you get: money can evaporate as more people install adblock.

Several creators are sidestepping this problem by turning to Subbable, a subscription service for independent creators. The content producers can ask their viewers to make one time or recurring donations to help keep their channels ad free, or at least, free of pre-roll ads.

Google has tried to fight back against Adblock, partly by paying Adblock to whitelist some of their ads. Google’s business model is all about ads but as awareness of Adblock grows it’s increasingly difficult to get ads in front of online users.

Photo credit: mauritsonline