However much marketers might like to think otherwise, trying to force a person to watch an ad online does little good. The average person will open a different tab, run to the bathroom, or perhaps just stare at the nearest wall. So YouTube may be onto something as it prepares to give users the option of skipping certain ads.
According to Irina Slutsky, YouTube should roll out an endeavor called TrueView over the next few weeks. She reported that this will "give viewers a choice of three different ads to watch. Users can also skip the ad altogether and the advertiser isn't charged."
Note that TrueView won't be available in every situation. Also, Hulu should get credit for exploring the choose-your-own-ad idea first.
Still, this development seems to represent a win-win for marketers and YouTube viewers. The marketers will have to worry less about annoying people and/or getting ignored, while viewers will be able to decide what sort of experience suits them best.
Then you can toss in a third win for YouTube, since TrueView should help both keep marketers and users coming back to the site.
So stay tuned to see how this works out. Slutsky wrote, "YouTube plans to start off TrueView with advertisers who have a managed account at Google -- those marketers with dedicated channels. But eventually, as with everything at Google, the platform is meant to scale and automate and be available to everyone."