In the online world, it’s rare that we’re willing to pay for anything. We almost never want to pay for content, which is understandable considering how long we’ve been getting it for free.
But as of today, I am ready to pay for a premium version of YouTube. Yup, I am prepared, PayPal in hand, to give Google my money for something they provide for free.
Anything to stop the pre-roll. Or at least require only premium-level pre-roll that is relevant to my tastes. This is worth paying for.
Freemium Upgrade to Premium
So you’re familiar with the concept of “freemium” right? Sure you are. That’s where you can get most of the features for free, but to get the “extra special awesome bonus stuff,” you have to pay.
For example, I’m an avid photographer, so I pay for Flickr Pro. Even though Flickr is free, I pay $25 a year for the upgrade. It’s not much money and I feel like I get some good value from it.
I’m also using the free version of Evernote more frequently, so I am considering an upgrade there. Maybe Dropbox too. Both provide good free services, but the extra stuff on the premium may make it worth the few bucks.
To be honest, I use YouTube way more than any of these other services. Google invests bazillions of dollars running YouTube and charges us nothing for it. A few moments of our attention (for a paid advertisement) is all they ask. Seems fair, right?
YouTube, Give Me an Option
YouTube has become important to me both personally and professionally. There are videos there that have helped me become better at my job and have generally made my life a little bit better. It’s one of the all-time great websites.
But now, it’s getting bogged down with pre-roll advertisements that delay our ability to share good video content. There are times when I just want to show something to a friend or co-worker and we’re frozen as an ad forces us to wait. And wait and wait and wait.
Most of the time, it’s only 30 seconds, but when someone is leaning over your shoulder to watch a video, that time feels uncomfortably long.
I completely understand Google’s need to monetize YouTube. It makes sense to accept money from advertisers and marketers who want to get their message out to the world. Google should be able to make back money on their investment.
But enough already. I’m willing to pay to opt out of advertising or at least slow it down a little. Maybe they can limit advertisements until they figure out a way to make them more relevant to me as a person. Google knows everything about me through email, search, YouTube, and everything else they give me for free. They should use this profiling information to send me ads that I would actually want to see about products I might actually want.
Or how about this? Let me pay for YouTube Premium and then allow me to opt-out of an ad for, say, $1.00? At least I can be part of the decision process.
Some ads will make me happy, so I will watch them. I mean, I am a consumer. I buy stuff and will buy more stuff in the future. Heck, I even use Google occasionally to look for stuff I intend to buy. There’s no reason to think that I wouldn’t be open to an ad from someone selling something that’s consistent with my buying habits. Good ads are good. Poorly targeted ads waste everybody’s time.
YouTube is an outstanding service that continues to get better. They’ve proven their value to the user, so it’s not out of line to expect them to develop a multi-level premium service that allows users to customize the marketing and advertising flow.
The cash is on the table and I’m ready to pay for YouTube Premium. Right after this 30 second pre-roll. Just a couple more seconds to skip…