In an episode of Black Mirror, the science fiction anthology series, the character of Daniel Kaluuya closes his eyes while an advertisement is being played on the screen. As soon as he does that, the screen goes blank and he’s given a warning that if he doesn’t see the ad, he will face consequences. YouTube seems to have got inspired.
The video-sharing platform recently announced that it is going to expand non-skippable ads. Earlier, only a select few channels with the required number of subscribers could enable the option of monetizing their videos through ads that you can’t skip after 5 seconds. Now, they’re soon going to remove all such restrictions, effectively allowing all videos to run ads that can’t be skipped. If a creator turns on non-skippable ads, even previously published videos on their channel will be able to make use of them.
Non-skippable ads fetch creators more revenue, from which YouTube takes a cut every time they’re played. The new policy, though arguably more annoying for the viewers, is meant to incentivize channels to create more content. But, as commentators on the video pointed out, viewers might just click away from such videos altogether.
However, not all is bad for the viewers, yet. The non-skippable ads are limited to run for 20 seconds.
The only thing that is left for YouTube to do to become a Black Mirror episode is disabling the mute button while the ad runs. But we shouldn’t be giving them ideas, right?