RIP Pre-roll Ads

Pre-roll is about to die, according to a prediction from noted VC and blogger Fred Wilson. Wilson, a partner with Union Square Ventures, doesn’t mince words in his blog post: “Pre-roll ads are going the way of popups and other intrusive ads. They won’t be around in a couple years. And the online video services that use them to monetize their audience won’t be around either.”

The main gist of his argument is that there is always somewhere else to get content, so if you’re making it difficult or unpleasant for users to get it from you, they’ll go somewhere else. Since pre-rolls are annoying, and users are impatient, they’re going to make people go somewhere else.

He thinks post-roll ads are fine, if they’re properly targeted and entertaining. The reasoning behind that is that people will get something extra if the ads are done right, and can easily leave if they’re not interested.

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jason johns
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