Would You Pay for an Ad-Free YouTube? [MakeUseOf Poll]

Dave Parrack 12-04-2015

While it’s no real chore skipping past the ads that play before most YouTube videos 10 Different Ways to Browse, Watch & Enjoy YouTube Videos Read More , it hasn’t stopped users from moaning about them over the years. However, there may soon be another way of enjoying YouTube without screwing over content creators by installing an evil ad-blocker AdBlock, NoScript & Ghostery - The Trifecta Of Evil Over the past few months, I've been contacted by a good number of readers who have had problems downloading our guides, or why they can't see the login buttons or comments not loading; and in... Read More . Paid YouTube subscriptions are on the way, but will you pay?

Selfish Selfie Stick SoBs

To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the Poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from last week, when we asked, “What Should We Do About Selfie Sticks?

Out of a total of 242 votes, 31.4% chose Nothing, personal freedom is paramount, 29.8% chose Nothing, they’re only a bit of fun, 16.5% chose Ban them because they’re annoying, 15.7% chose Ban them because they’re dumb, 4.1% chose Other, and 2.5% chose What is a selfie stick?!

This suggests the majority of our readers believe nothing should be done about selfie sticks, with 61.2 percent voting that way. Just 32.2 percent of our readers would like to see selfie sticks banned, while 2.5 percent haven’t got a clue what a selfie stick even is. The lucky SoBs.


Comment of the Week

We received a lot of great comments, including those from Andy H, Fik of Borg, and Jayce. Comment Of The Week goes to Robert O, who earns our admiration and affection for this comment:

I once took a “selfie” pic of myself lying in a hospital bed, with IV tubes coming out of my arms, and oxygen tubes coming out my nose, just because….. I don’t know why. I thought it was a bit amusing, actually, proving I was close to dying. I didn’t have a selfie stick, but if I did, I probably would have used it. And then died.

Why do we do this sort of stuff? I think it’s generally harmless fun, and really, as long as it’s not intrusive on anyone else, it’s not that big of a deal. But really… why do we do this sort of stuff? Are we really that self-absorbed? The correct answer is: yes.

I’ve looked at some of the responses to this question here, and some people have remarked “why not just ask someone else to take a picture for you?” Well, I (like probably most people) would happily take your picture for you, but other people might not be so obliging. In fact, asking a stranger to do you a favor might be considered intrusive to their goings-about! And if you’re in a foreign country, what’s the social protocol to ask? Some strangers might even be hostile, or even steal your camera! You never know.

I think most people do it just to document that they did something, experienced something, enjoyed something, or survived something, without troubling someone else to do it for us, or forcing an interaction with a stranger, or… leaving a “close one” out of the picture because they’re the “designated photographer.” I say this as someone who has probably had three photographs taken of me in the last 15 years, but I think I understand. You want documentation that you’ve actually LIVED! As long as you’re not whacking someone else in the face with a selfie stick, it’s not a big deal. It’s a definite “first world problem” to complain about such a thing.

Just don’t make “duck lips” while photographing yourself, please.

We chose this comment because it offers a comprehensive take on the whole subject of selfies 5 Things To Avoid When Taking Selfies Selfies shouldn’t be taken lightly, and there are many things you need to avoid. Read More and selfie sticks. It’s also an entertaining read, and the last line actually made me laugh out loud… the duck lips pose is truly preposterous.

From YouTube to YouPay

YouTube is rumored to be planning to offer paid subscriptions by the end of this year. These subscriptions, rumored to cost around $10-per-month, will remove the adverts, allowing viewers to support their favorite YouTubers without needing to click ‘Skip Ad‘ after five seconds.

It’s a promising idea, but whether YouTube will be able to persuade enough people to pay up to support content creators remains to be seen. We want to know your feelings about the possibility of paid YouTube subscriptions, so please take a few moments to vote in the Poll below.

Please vote in the Poll above, and then explain in the comments section below why you voted that way. Do you already block ads all across the Web It's About Ethics in Stealing Games Journalism: Why AdBlock Needs to Die A simple, free browser plugin killed Joystiq – and is ruining the Internet. Read More , making it pointless to pay for an ad-free YouTube? Or do you see the value in paying a monthly subscription for accessing YouTube?

The more information you can provide with your comment, the more accurate our conclusions can be based on the results. In other words, voting in the Poll tells us something, but adding detail in the comments section below tells us a whole lot more.

The best Comment of the Week will win our everlasting admiration and affection. At least until we all meet back here again this time next week when we’ll have a new question awaiting your input.

Image Credit: Rego Korosi via Flickr

Related topics: Online Advertising, Smartphone Photography, YouTube.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Robert O
    April 16, 2015 at 12:35 am

    As we say in my country, "let's get real." We all have bills to pay, so I don't think most people are willing to justify another bill just to watch frivolous Youtube videos ad-free. Nobody (worth Google's time) is going to do this. Are you kidding? Let's get real!

    I like cat videos as much as the next person, but I don't think Youtube offers enough can't-live-without cat-video content to justify an ad-free subscription payment. This is especially true because I know that the vast majority of Youtube cat-video providers are not compensated financially. Google gets all the money, and your cat gets none.

    It's actually a strange business model for Google (and others) to put forth. If people pay to skip the advertisements, the advertisers would (I assume) be furious! Aren't the advertisers the very people who put Google in Ferraris? Why pay to advertise when people (who are already finding ways to skip the ads) can bypass the ads? If everyone pays, then what... no ads? Google kills the advertisement industry? Capitalism ends? (Except for poor people who can't afford the very products being advertised?)

    For such a powerful company, it seems that Google has a strangely difficult time monetizing themselves. If it wasn't for advertisers, Google would probably not exist. Nor would most of the broadcast industry, the print media, and even (arguably) the movie industry.

    Like it or not, advertisements are the best (free) method of providing general web content, for both consumers and providers. It's worked in the past, and as far as I can tell, it's the only reasonable way now. Google will find this out soon enough with this Youtube experiment. Yes, I'll watch a "Purina Cat Chow" commercial to watch a cat eating chow, as long as no money is leaving my pocket. I think most (non-crazy) people will agree with me.

  2. K
    April 15, 2015 at 6:13 am

    I think $10 is a bit too much, $8 is more my maximum, but I will still consider the $10 seriously at least for 1 month. Not being able to mute specific ads is getting increasingly irritating. In particular in the past month or two there have been Durex and 50 Shades commercials that while I most certainly skipped, you can't skip until 5 seconds in.
    There is no other way for me to block ads I absolutely don't want to see again. I don't mind paying premium for no ads. I can't stomach watching a series on Hulu for the amount of ads that I do not agree with seeing. On Hulu though, they at least give the vague comfort of having a voice in saying an ad isn't relevant to me. It never seemed to make a significant difference, but it had me there for a while.
    One commercial isn't really enough to bother me, but the realization that I will increasingly have no say to the possible ads to come....that's enough to make me pay to see the content I actually came to see.
    That my favorite content makers will still be supported from that? That's what might make that $8 maximum go for the $10.

  3. BrendaP
    April 14, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    I like YouTube but would not pay a monthly fee to watch it ever (with or without ads). I'm only a watcher not a publisher - maybe that makes a difference. I don't like the new html5 format. And don't like that google has tied it to google plus - which I don't use - and have not changed from my old id. I'm not so addicted that I couldn't turn off the channel if needed. I did it with cable and survived.

  4. alex benedict
    April 14, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    i would never ever pay 10 dollars a month to watch youtube, this is ridiculous since google bought youtube it did nothing but screw it up, and honestly i really hope this decision kills youtube so people would to a more user friendly video sharing website, and when i say user friendly i mean try to find your inbox on youtube!

  5. Miguel
    April 14, 2015 at 12:17 am

    I still dont understand the reason behind it. you can block ads with a pop up blocker for free.

    • Dave Parrack
      April 17, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Yes, but if you do that then the content creators don't get paid. It's the same across the Web, including with us. This way, you don't see ads, but the people working hard to make videos still get paid. Everybody wins.

  6. Christopher
    April 14, 2015 at 12:06 am

    $10 per month makes me chuckle. While I don't think making the viewer pay (with ads OR money) is the right move, I think the price should offset the revenue made by the presence of those ads. I highly doubt that YouTube makes $10 in one month from making me watch ads. I might pay $12-20 per YEAR to remove both YouTube ads & Google's ads on other websites.

    An even better solution would be a video sharing service like YouTube but run by a non-profit entity. This way, instead of a seeking profit, the service would only seek to fulfill the needs of it's users.

  7. Pat L
    April 13, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    I don't use YouTube enough to pay $10 a month. I have no problem with the ads. They are not as annoying as those on some other websites.

  8. likefunbuntot
    April 13, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    I don't ever see the ads, so I really do forget that they exist. However, I'm not going to pay for Youtube. I don't think it's a terrible service and I do have hours and hours of video uploaded on it, but Youtube also isn't the service that it used to be. It's no longer fully functional to users who haven't signed up for Google+ or people who have an original (non-Google) Youtube login. Since I can no longer comment on videos directly, I'm a lot less invested in how it how it works. It's just the place where I put videos I make on my phone and tablets.

    For the matter of supporting content creators, I've done so directly by using their paypal and Amazon donation links or by buying their books or merch. I've directly donated hardware and in one case just had a pizza delivered. The contributions I make in that way is undoubtedly more valuable than years worth of ad impressions from an individual.

  9. Xoandre
    April 13, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Youtube is the number one "FREE" Resource for the general public to up[load, share, and enjoy globally-produced user content.

    Sure, some of it is horrendous and pathetic, and there are the endless MP3 videos with a still image (what is the point of those?), but for the most part, the service has been useful to us artists, film students, poets, videographers, and wanna-be film-makers.

    Youtube has been the standard and they really need to figure out how to compete with Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos, and Hulu, to name but a few.

    Google needs to find a method of merging Google Play Movies with YouTube without totally mucking up the current state of free video sharing for everyone. By combining these technologies, they would create a powerhouse option, bringing Google Play Movies into the hands of non-Android Device users, and promoting a service that has literally no purpose for those of us who just don't stream films on our phones.

    Youtube made a huge mistake recently by switching all videos to stream as HTML5 instead of Flash. The technology is not quite ready for prime time and the fact that buffering of videos in HTML5 and Flash alike is slow, resets every time you move the mouse, and embedded videos sometimes just don't work anymore - really needs to be corrected before they start charging for a broken service.

    The ads can be small and easy to ignore, but lately there have been some major videos (Film trailers like Avengers: Age of Ultron) where Youtube has placed ads that actually interfere with the play and pause buttons, and a couple that cover more than half the video screen.

    Problems aside, Google has an opportunity that they seem to not be taking advantage of, by merging a rarely-used (by me) service and the number one video site in the world.

    Pay for Play? For cat videos and amateur video podcasts? No thanks.

  10. dragonmouth
    April 13, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    YouTube should pay the viewers to watch that garbage.

  11. eric jay
    April 13, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    No ads by ad block plus.

  12. Simon
    April 13, 2015 at 6:31 am

    If I like something someone has created on Youtube, I might well like whatever else they create, too. By helping them get paid, I encourage them to create more and show my appreciation for what they've already created. The thing to remember is that 'free content' isn't actually free -- it cost the creator time to come up with and edit and it costs Youtube money to run the servers and deliver the bandwidth.

    I like Youtube and a good deal of the content I find out there. I don't mind dropping money into the bin to keep the show going. I don't even mind others watching the stuff for free, not all of us have excess to donate from and if my paying money helps others with less cash to enjoy the show, that's all good as far as I am concerned :)

  13. b
    April 12, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Why would I pay for what I get for free?

    Answer, fifty percent of what you pay goes directly to who you watch! Great way to support youtubers!