Is anyone else getting irritated with videos on Youtube suddenly becoming adverts? I’m sure I’m not the only one getting pissed off with this phenomenon. Youtube is one of the websites I use the most: like anyone else, I watch all sorts on it, from clips of my favourite films to vlogs about subjects I’m interested in. In the last few months though, I’ve noticed more and more vids being broken up by adverts. I don’t mean the ordinary adverts which you can choose to skip after a few seconds, which are irritating enough. I mean adverts where the person narrating the video – be it a film review say, or a piece about history – suddenly breaks the flow of the film to advertise some random, totally irrelevant product. The manufacturers of the product obviously pay them to do so, but to have a video which you may be enjoying suddenly broken up by an advert which you cannot skip, presented as part of the video itself, really pisses me off. It would be like me suddenly interrupting the flow of my blog entries to tell readers to buy a random, unrelated product. It strikes me as a complete sell out and I instantly loose all respect for whoever is delivering the film.
A few days ago, for example, I was watching a video by Calvin Dyson, a James Bond reviewer who I used to have a lot of respect for: the video was quite an interesting one about a 1987 James Bond TV special with Roger Moore, but about nine minutes in, Dyson suddenly started trying to flog a random brand of wallet. He too had obviously sold out to those trying to make money out of people’s interests. The problem is, it’s happening more and more on youtube as big corporations try to cash in on the growing popularity of it’s users, but in doing so they wash away the independence and integrity which made the site so great. Part of what made people like Dyson so interesting was their fresh, raw sense of independence; the fact they have no attachments to big, mainstream media. They are just creating videos for the love of the subject. As soon as they start getting paid to advertise things as part of the videos they make, however, they loose that independence, and with it my respect.