And You Thought That The YouTube Ads Were Annoying . . .

Who doesn’t love those 15 or 30 second advertisements on YouTube before you can watch that desired video? Well, despite the Skip button that appears to be the temporary saviour, it may not be that easy to get away from the hands of advertisers anymore!

Grand Mariner

I’ve never really had much of a problem with the ads on YouTube. Despite most of the revenue going straight back to YouTube, it is a great way for artists to earn a little more extra cash while providing their song and video clip for free. But I am well aware that this isn’t the opinion held by most video consumers.

Whenever I seem to be watching a video with someone else and an ad comes on, it always induces an involuntary and quite vocal sigh of discontent.

Well, a skip button cannot save you anymore!

Universal Music Group has signed a deal to retro-fit advertisements into existing music videos. That means that existing music videos will be taken back to the editing room to digitally add advertisements that vary based on the location and demographics of the user.

The first videos back to the editing table are Avicii’s Lay Me Down, Far East Movement’s Rocketeer and two videos from Darius Rucker who will find the surprise addition of ads for Grand Mariner in their clips.

Don’t get me wrong, this strategy is going to make the artists and the ‘struggling’ record agency an enormous amount of money (in the short term), but is it really going to help the brands that are shelling out enormous sums to participate. The advertisements already generate an incredibly negative response and receive a chilly reception from video watchers, so is it really a good idea to just give them more.

There has to be a better way to actually engage these online consumers and it probably comes down to creating more appealing and interesting content rather than using some guerrilla marketing.

However the brands are not receiving the worst of the damage from this latest deal. It is actually the artists.

In the current YouTube format, artists have a chance to recover their audience’s opinions. They initially approach the video in a negative mood after sitting through an advert in which they often have no interest. But then the artist has four minutes to turn that attitude around with some high quality music. (In fact, it probably works in their favour as the expectations are lower).

The issue with this new format lies in the constant bombardment of viewers during their engagement with the artist. Constantly being exposed to irritating product placement during a music video will only further link the clip with the negative feelings brought on by viewing advertising which ultimately detracts from viewers’ enjoyment of the artist’s product.

This is a very dangerous line to tread and could possibly lead to a range of consumers whose experience with Universal Music Group’s products is generally negative. Thin Ice. Very Thin Ice!