Nobody Watches YouTube Ads, and Competitors Are Preparing to Pounce


YouTube ads are proliferating, but that doesn’t mean they are becoming more effective. According to TubeFilter, only about 15-25% of skippable online video ads are watched all the way through.

For advertisers, this might mean thinking twice about using YouTube. For content creators, well, it’s a bit of a non-factor, although everything is most definitely not hunky-dory for would-be media moguls.

YouTube’s hubris — particularly the 45% tax on ad revenue — is  the latest pet peeve of shrill, semi-noted media entrepreneur Jason Calacanis, who spoke at last week’s Stream conference about how two video competitors (including Maker Studios) would be emerging in the coming year. He also has been putting out a steady river of rants online about YouTube’s overall lack of support for content creators.

Assuming YouTube creatives are not quite ready to put their trust in new video platforms, the alternative to YouTube advertising is ‘sponsored content,’ i.e. the BuzzFeed path. Current competitor DailyMotion severely struggles with piracy and showcasing original content, and all the bands in Brooklyn couldn’t bring Vimeo relevance, so building an online video platform is — clearly — not easy to execute. Further, judging by Calacanis’ general blow-hardness — his ‘ThisWeekIn’ YouTube series is occasionally entertaining but overall a money-loser — we don’t think the folks in Mountain View are sweating too hard…yet.