After offering ten years of ad-supported free video streaming, Google may have finally recognized that it’s in their best interests to offer an advertisement-free subscription to YouTube users.
It goes without saying that no one like advertisements. They are annoying, they get in the way. Some of them even blast sound when at unexpected and unwelcome times. But other than offering an ad-free subscription service, ads are the only way online services can profit.
It is likely that many people, particularly those with a little extra cash on hand, will take advantage of YouTube’s subscription service.
But with ad-blocking services available that do the same thing for a lesser amount or no cost at all, has YouTube waited too long to offer this to the public?
Ad-blocking services are growing in popularity, improving the user experience at the cost of lowering conversion rates of ads displayed on websites.
Multiple browser plugins such as AdBlock for Chrome and AdBlockPlus for Firefox are freely available online. The plugins work by automatically intercepting the website’s code when a user makes a request to open a website, and scripts that are identified to be ads are removed before the website is displayed to the user.
So then, why pay for YouTube?
This is probably one of the questions YouTube has been trying to figure out over the past year. If you didn’t know, YouTube has been hinting at offering a subscription service for some time now, and it hasn’t been until recently that they have announced a date.
The fact Google wants to step into the ad-free world may be a sign that they intend on implementing measures to break ad-blocking plugins, at least on YouTube. Such a feat could easily be achieved if the ads on YouTube were made more difficult for the plugins to identify.
The Wall Street Journal reports that online advertising is a $60 billion industry and that ad-blocking is one of its biggest threats today.