So, as of this moment, pre-roll ads are running on Vlogbrothers. There’s a lot of assumptions that fly around about how ads work on YouTube, and I figured honesty is the best policy, so let’s see how this goes.
- YouTubers get to decide whether they have pre-rolls or banner ads or ANY ads on their videos.
- They also get to decide whether those ads are just the skippable kind or if YouTube can also run the non-skippable kind.
- They also get to choose whether YouTube can run LONG unskippable ads (30 seconds).
- If you skip a pre-roll, the creator doesn’t get paid the same amount as if you watch the pre-roll. I don’t know whether this is a binary switch or if some money is delivered for partially viewed ads.
- YouTube serves higher-value ads to content that is longer than average or has better “watch-through” than average (meaning, people don’t leave the video half way through.)
- From our early data, creators make about three times more money with pre-rolls and banner ads than just banner ads.
Now, here are some answers to your unasked questions about the value and usefulness of advertising.
- We make a fraction of a fraction of a cent for every pre-roll that gets watched. We do not expect or request or even want you to watch ads for us.
- Any action you take to promote our content, or general educational content on the internet takes less time and creates significantly more value for the world than the revenue generated from watching a pre-roll.
- So do that. Literally any action you take…
- Ad-watching is a passive way for you to help generate small amounts of revenue for The Foundation to Decrease Worldsuck and our educational content.
- But if there are active ways you would like to help promote or fund our content (by telling your friends, families, teachers, students, followers, random people on the street about it, or by supporting the content through Subbable) that, again, far more valuable than watching an ad.
- You would have to watch more than forty hours of ads (not counting content) to generate as much revenue for educational videos as purchasing a single Crash Course poster. (Also, when you purchase a poster, you, like, get a poster.)
And finally, something you should know about advertising…they’ve done the math. When you watch an advertisement, it is worth their money (and they pay way more than we get, because lots of people take a cut along the way.) They’re getting the value they pay for by altering your habits or increasing the odds you’ll buy something or act in a certain way.
I don’t believe that advertising is inherently evil or anything, but I do think that a lot of advertising intentionally reinforces some negative stuff (like the general feeling of “need” where no need exists.)
I am super ambivalent about this, but I also recognize that with pretty much every other piece of video in the world accompanied by ads, I’m probably not going to have a huge affect on culture one way or the other. And this way we have resources to give to charity and do more useful things for the world.
But I would like for us all to be conscious of how advertising works and how it doesn’t work and what it does to us and etc.
Of course, I think (as did the vast majority of surveyed Nerdfighters) that this is a SIGNIFICANT net positive for the world and for our community, and I can’t say thanks enough for that support and dedication to education and decreasing world suck…but…y’know…thanks.