What she said

Back Scratching

Just to be clear, I’m not at all against the idea of online advertising. I believe that it is the very reason why a large portion of the internet is free.

Advertising, both online and offline, is an excellent business model that benefits business(advertisers), content creators and content consumers: business gets to promote the sales of their service or product; content creators get to distribute their content at lower and even no cost; and content consumers get to consume at lower or no cost. End of the day, we have advertising to thank for the survival of the news, magazine, radio and TV industries.

Back on the grid, think about Google. I don’t know about you but I can’t imagine a life without Google search, Gmail, Google maps and YouTube. The free and excellent services Google provides would not be possible without money. Last year, 95% of Google’s revenue comes from online advertising. Thank you online advertising.

back scratching

It’s all about scratching each other’s back. Google helps me find the relevant information I’m searching for, for free. And they get paid by the advertisers for displaying ads to me. Fair and square. I don’t mind the “sponsored links” showing up first in my search results, as long as they are 1) clearly labelled so I don’t mistake them for vanilla search results 2) always relevant to my search – I might even click on them sometimes.

All that being said, I have a confession to make: today is the day I installed a chrome extension to skip YouTube in-video ads.

remove youtube ad

Do I feel bad? Not really. Inserting an ad in front a video I want to watch disrupts my workflow. It’s broken user experience right there. How relevant normally is the ad in front of my video? Do I feel like buying a car when clicking on a cat video? No, thanks.

grumpy cat

So yes, when it feels like that YouTube stops scratching my back, I stop scratching theirs. They probably won’t be charging the advertisers since the ads aren’t displayed.

The point is, I’m willing to scratch your back up to a certain point. A disrupted workflow is beyond that point.