Nobody likes YouTube pre-roll ads, and now you’re going to like them even less: The Verge reports that the company’s planning to offer options to instantly purchase the stuff shilled in the ads you see right before you click out of those ads to watch the content you so dearly crave.
The question is: Would we actually want to buy anything that's attempted to be shilled on YouTube? Here's a not-so-scientific investigation, aided by randomyoutube.net—and unlike most content discussed here, you CAN'T click away after five seconds.
The first pre-roll video that came up was when I clicked on this incredibly inane NBA 2K14 playthrough: a commercial for Geico (fucking Geico) featuring Salt-N-Pepa performing "Push It." Sorry, no car insurance for me today, thanks.
This wasn't the EXACT ad that popped up when I clicked on a PHP Programming tutorial I have no interest in watching. This stuff seems useful! If you have a backyard, that is. I don't. Pass.
YouTube hit me with a shortened spot of this San Andreas trailer before a viewing of something called "Marisnick ropes his first career triple" (not a sports guy, folks). But, uh, a disaster movie with The Rock in it? Sold.
Another trailer! This time it was an advertisement to own the Will Smith/Margot Robbie film Focus, which played before a sped-up rip of the 2006 rom-com Just My Luck. Focus was reportedly terrible so not buyin’ this one.
Now we’re talkin’! When I clicked on the video for T-Wayne’s “Nasty Freestyle,” I got an ad for the new Blizzard game Heroes of the Storm. I’d buy this. Did I need a YouTube ad to figure that out? Probably not, but it works.
Conclusion: YouTube needs to do a better job of creepily harvesting my personal data and serving me relevant ads. Either that or YouTube is doing a great job and I'm just not the consumer I wish to be.