We’ve all seen the backlash when social media sites start to offer advertising. Facebook, twitter and instagram all started life ad free. They built a strong following and then added advertising later, to the horror and disappointment of many of their customers. However, once the initial furore dies down most people return to their usual social networks and tolerate the change without too many complaints.
YouTube it seems are taking a different approach, we are all used to watching adverts on You Tube and have come to accept this is the deal. It works in a similar way to the traditional commercial television model, you tolerate the adverts in exchange for getting to watch your favourite programmes.
Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s Chief Executive at a recent conference hinted that they are exploring the option of offering an advert free service to subscribers. She acknowledged that some people simply don’t want to see adverts. The question is are people prepared to pay? It will be interesting to see what YouTube unveil and how successful it is. Undoubtedly when asked people will claim they would prefer not to see adverts but whether they are actually prepared to part with their cash to avoid the advertisers is another matter. Time will tell, we’ll certainly be watching with interest.