Blip.tv Sucks

 By Shamus Jun 28, 2011 183 comments

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This was going to be a post about a couple of sci-fi reviews on Blip.tv. After ten minutes of fighting with the site and watching the same ad over and over, I scrapped that idea and now I’m going to rant about the service instead, because if Blip is going to waste my time I’m going to pay them back in bile.

Blip.tv sucks. Blip.tv sucks in numerous, infuriating and unforgivable ways. It sucks in ways which are carefully enumerated in the following list:

  1. I couldn’t embed these movies like I wanted to. I put in the embed code offered on their site, and got a blank white square here. Why? Maybe both of the content producers I was citing (Sf Debris and Red Letter Media) forbid embedding? I doubt it, but in any case Blip should have warned me, or said something, or given an error. Nothing. No idea why. YouTube does not have this problem.
  2. The same ad. All the time. Every time. YouTube seems to have some sort of smart system where it can tell how long it’s been since you watched an ad, and only plays one if you’re “due”. Blip plays the same ad, every time. If you want to watch the movie ON Blip from an embed, you have to watch the ad, then click through to Blip, then watch the ad again.
  3. Their servers are crap. If the streaming stalls (which happens more often than seems reasonable in 2011) you have to refresh the page to get it going again. Which means watching the ad, again. I notice the streaming ads never fail, which makes this feel like something insidious. YouTube does not have this problem.
  4. Pop-up ads pop up too often. In addition to the video ads that start every show on Blip, there is these pop-over ads that appear on top of the video every few minutes. It’s the classic sleazy visual spam: Big box, minuscule close button, and when you close it it doesn’t really close, it just gets smaller. And if you miss the five-pixel close button, you end up sent to the advertised site. Hope you weren’t in the middle of watching anything! (And when you come back, the pop-up is still covering your movie.) YouTube has a far more mild version of this problem.
  5. Pop-up ads are too big. Half the screen? Really Blip? That is the most backward and primitive 1997 way of thinking about advertising. Why not just give everyone a red & blue strobe rectangle that says YOU ARE VISITOR #999,999!!! CLICK HERE TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE!!! I can’t watch my show while half the screen is covered by an ad, and since these pop up while the show continues to run, these ads are conditioning me to HATE the product. YouTube isn’t nearly as bad.
  6. Pop-up ads punish the viewer. When I dismiss a pop-up, it pauses the movie. I have to click the play button to get it going again. What is the point of this? The ad is gone. This isn’t helping anyone. It’s just an annoyance. YouTube does not have this problem.
  7. Volume of ads is far louder than the content, and the volume button is wonky. You can’t click & drag the volume, you click to invoke the slider, and then click again in the narrow slider to move the volume. Maybe I’m paranoid, but I suspect this is a sneaky attempt to trick me into clicking on the video ad. (The volume appears over the video, so a mis-click hits the ad.) YouTube does not have this problem. Sometimes videos are loud, sometimes ads are loud. I understand that you can’t expect all content producers to match a set volume level. But on Blip the ads are always speaker-blowing loud compared to the content.

The #1 response to this is that people tell me to use an ad blocker. This makes me sad. I’m a broke, out-of-work loser, but I still take great care to keep the ads on this site as non-invasive as possible. I don’t want to give anyone a reason to block my site. (Trivia: The ads here are now a non-trivial portion of my income.) So it really makes me angry to see sites like Blip engaging in practices that punish, annoy, harass, and trick users. People eventually get annoyed enough that they will install an adblocker, and the default behavior of an adblocker is to block EVERYTHING, not just the jerks. Blip is foolishly poisoning the well, for themselves and for people like me.

This war has been going on for a long time. Banner ads. Then came FLASHING banner ads that hurt the eyes. Then came pop-up windows. Then came interstitial ads. Then came pop-over ads. The came VIDEO pop-over ads. With each step, users have found a way to block or avoid the unwanted content. I think trends show that most users are willing to tolerate some modest level of advertising. It’s even welcome, to a certain degree. (Once in a while I see something cool or useful, or simply amusing.) The web advertising model can work, if idiots would stop polluting the web. Most people will accept a Word From Our Sponsors. They aren’t going to learn about ad-blocking until the ads are more of a hassle than finding, downloading, and installing blocking software.

I expect this sort of thing from MLM marketing sites, spamongers, malware distributors, and other sketchy places. But Blip.tv is apparently trying to present itself as a reputable company, and needs to start acting like one. “Annoy your audience until they leave” is a shockingly bad long-term business model. Sooner or later they will fold, and in their place they will leave a giant hole: Tens of thousands of people who used to surf the web openly and now do so behind the shield of ad-blocking software. Blip loses. The people who put content on Blip lose. The people who suffered through blip ads lose. The people who advertised on Blip lose. (I now hate that friggin’ Mexican Restaurant that advertises on Blip. The first time I saw the ad I was hungry. The tenth time I was annoyed. The fiftieth time I vowed to take a job there and do a Tyler Durden in the food.) Pretty much everyone loses.

This video hosting battle is very quickly turning into something akin to the Digital Distribution platform wars. One company has a vast majority of the market share, and the competition is a mess of spam, aggravation, incompetence, bugs, and short-sightedness.

A Hundred!202020203I bet you won't even read all 183 comments before leaving your own.


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  1. Aulayan says:

    I have noticed with blip it has gone downhill in the past two months in a fast way.

    If I want to watch an embedded video, I often have to reload, reload, reload because it won’t load the video after the ad. (And every reload is a new ad; this was a huge problem while trying to listen to the This Week in Games podcast. I eventually spent a too-long-ass time downloading the mp3 because it was more rewarding). However, when I go to the video producer’s blip site, and the video fails between ads, a reload (while annoying) doesn’t replay the ad.

    It used to be there’d be one pop up ad. Then suddenly they did an extra one in the upper right corner (BTW, when I close these ads, the videos don’t pause for me.), now it’s Pop up ads like every 10 minutes or so. I haven’t actually timed this, but I remember closing several ads while watching Suburban Knights Part 1.

    Blip is strongly pushing their ads on the viewers and the only reason I still watch videos on blip are the producers I find intriguing. But lately I’ve started to find alternate means. I won’t look at someone’s re-upload to YouTube, because I don’t want to cheat the producers, but in the case of LordKat’s podcasts…I’m dling the mp3, because Blip’s gotten too annoying.

    • Walter says:

      What people fail to realize is that ad-sponsored content is inherently unsustainable over the long run. Google devalues everything it touches and makes money by running context ads alongside the content but marginalizing the actual value of the content down to zero.

      Advertisers are the ones subsidizing and propping up all the niche content in the internet ecosystem. As the largely macroeconomic climate worsens so too will the structural constraints that confine the diversity of content available for “free” on the internet.

      Eventually we will all go back to paying for content (probably through micro-payments) and banner/text advertising (a la Google Adsense/Adwords,etc) will be a thing of the past.

      Adblock Plus + NoScript FTW!

  2. X2-Eliah says:

    Hmyeah, blip is annoying. For me, them primary reason it sucks, however, is because its servers are never streaming fast enough, so I have to start the video, hit pause, wait for ~60% of it to buffer in, and only then watch it.

    It was a real pain with early seasons of spoiler warning, tbh.

    • Raygereio says:

      Pre-youtube SpoilerWarning videos were hosted on viddler, not blip, though.

    • Rosseloh says:

      Ditto for my experiences, and if you ever search their, for lack of a better term, forum for “increase stream speed” or “slow download” or whatever, all you see is (paraphrased) “it must be your browser or settings, Viddler uses this new awesome technology that means you’ll be able to skip wherever you want in the video, blah blah blah”.

      I. Don’t. CARE if I can skip wherever I want, I just want to watch the video without buffering for 20 minutes. Youtube seems to take care of that just fine with a streaming model that doesn’t suck. At least, usually. I do dislike how youtube will show the red bar in a position that makes you think it’s well ahead of the stream, but stops to load anyway.

  3. Gantidae says:

    This isn’t the first time ads have come up as a topic. I disabled my adblocker for this site long ago. I still have not seen a single ad. Sites that destroy your browswer with ads are blocked. Sites like this one are not blocked. I have no problem clicking a fews ads then closing the window on sites like this.

    Anybody have any idea why ads never show up here even with my adblocker disabled for this site? I’m using AdBlock Plus for Firefox.

    • Aulayan says:

      Holy crap this site DOES have ads. I’ve never noticed before. And I don’t use an ad blocker.

      A bit unobtrusive…

      • Hitch says:

        Sometimes I miss the “thing about stuff” but then I remember that it’s loss means a bit of money in Shamus’ pocket and that keeps the site going, so I don’t complain.

      • Wtrmute says:

        For the longest time I wasn’t able to see any ads on this site; I think on the last post about ad blocking, I remember looking everywhere on the main page and not seeing any. I expect that the ad company Shamus was renting that space to simply did not have any advertisements for my region of the world. Only very recently they started showing me any ads at all, usually for some kind of site. This probably also happened to a lot more people…

      • Thomas says:

        I know, I thought “what this site has ads?” and then I looked for them and decided they didn’t show up in the UK for some reason. And then I saw it

        • decius says:

          I don’t use an adblocker, and I normally don’t see ads. I’ve developed selective vision where ad-shaped banners do not breach my threshold of consciousness. That means that unless I’m looking, navigation bars, and some headers are invisible: It took me forever to notice that there are images next to the post titles, and that they are tailored to the subject.

        • rofltehcat says:

          I turned everything off for this site and spent over 5 minutes looking.
          I can’t find the damn adds and I want to click them so Shamus gets a few cents :(

    • Raygereio says:

      Googleadds don’t appear to load properly sometimes. Heck, right now I’m using IExplorer and I’m staring at a big white space on this page where the ads are supposed to be.

    • CTrees says:

      I, too, use adblockers (when at home), but disable them for this site, and any other smaller sites I like. So, ESPN or Facebook* get their ads blocked, but sites like this one or HardOCP get to show me their ads.

      *FB ads are usually small, but some of them manage to REALLY annoy me. Not sure how they get under my skin quite so much…

      • BenD says:

        Probably because FB harvests and sells your personal information to advertisers, and this is blatantly obvious when you look at the ads?

        • Fists says:

          That one, on my Mum’s 50th they immediately started calling her old and menopausal, not how my sales pitch would go

        • CTrees says:

          True… and it does it in really, really stupid ways. For instance, I think it’s harvesting my location (in an *extremely* red state) to give me bats**t insane right-wing political ads, which… nope, not flying, dude.

        • One of the more egregious examples is that they use your relationship status to target ads for you. Single? You get tons of ads for dating sites. In a relationship? You get ads for chocolates/jewelers/etc. It’s ridiculous. What single person wants to be constantly bombarded with ads reminding them that they’re single? How does that endear you to your target audience, exactly?

      • Mari says:

        Ad Blocking only goes so far on Facebook, though. They still manage to whammy me, even with my ABP on. Shamus’s wife and I had a fine old time one day playing with their “pages related to this post” when I put up a status about making frog and turtle shaped soaps with the kids. They kept telling me George Clooney was related to that post. So we started trying to target their advertising matrix and force it to pull certain things. But no matter what we put, it was bound and determined to feed us George Clooney and he would pop back up every other refresh.

  4. Raygereio says:

    You know Shamus? I’m remember you sort of booing me when I expressed horror at the idea of Spoiler Warning using advertisment breaks because I thought that would become annoying.
    I’m glad you now understand my point of view on this. ;)

    In responce to your point 1:
    -The only thing I’ve got to add here is that it is possible to embedd blip.tv video’s since I since I see such embedded videos in various places. Not sure what the magic trick is, but at least it is possible to do.

    • Abnaxis says:

      I don’t think he’s upset that it’s impossible to embed blip videos. He’s upset because he can’t embed a specific blip video, and the page will not give him any indication ofwhy his embed is failing.

      • Raygereio says:

        Oh. Right. Reading failure.

      • Count_Zero says:

        As far as embedding videos into WordPress, there is an obnoxious trick to it, that I’ve encountered on my own blog – though there I thought it was more of a “WordPress.com is gimped” sort of thing.

        You have to tag the embed like this [blip.tv ?posts_id=#######&dest=-1], where in the number signs you put the ID number for the video.

        For example, for this Blip.TV video (http://blip.tv/thegameheroes/top-10-hardest-nes-games-worth-playing-2111323), the ID number is 2111323, so putting that number after posts_id will let you embed the video. Neither WordPress nor Blip.TV is particularly transparent on this. WordPress says it’s Blip.TV’s fault for how they do the embeds on their videos, Blip.TV says it’s WordPress’s fault for not handling HTML coding for embeds properly. I, on the other hand, wonder how well Squarespace handles blip.tv.

  5. Kurt says:

    I really hate the ads that pop over videos, there is a cold place in hell for who invented those, and there is an even colder place for whoever decided video ads when i’m not watching a movie was a good idea.

    Also as much as I love the escapist they are really pushing their luck with those infernal ads from that streaming company g…whaterver that take up half the page and dont let you close them until they are done with there animation.

    • Dodds says:

      Try something for me, ’cause it happens to me all the time. Load any video on The Escapist, before pressing play, hit full screen. Now press play. Marvel at the fact that the video is playing in fullscreen whilst the stream ad plays in the background. It’s general habit for me to instantly fullscreen any video I’m watching, so that one annoys me to no end.

      Never actually used Blip, but I’ve had recent problems with Youtube. One ad in particular would play for 2 seconds then freeze. Of course, the timer for when the video would play also froze, meaning a page reset. This then throws up the same ad, which freezes at the exact same point and needs a seemingly neverending cycle of refreshing before it finally gives me a different ad.

    • Dys says:

      I have no major problem with the ads which run before vids on the Escapist, I can wait ten or fifteen seconds to watch ZP etc. It does annoy me when the first few seconds of the vid play, the intro music starts, and THEN the ad kicks in, but that’s relatively benign.

      When an ad breaks into content mid flow, that really gets to me. Those huge Gaikai? ads are basically going to stop me reading Experienced Points, or anything else on the Escapist, simply because when my view is blocked mid sentence by a stupid ad, I see a red mist. It’s disruptive.

      I’ve said this about splash screens at the start of games for years. The publisher wants you to associate this game with their brand and logo, fine, but do they not realise what they actually get is you associating said unskippable logo with several seconds of being prevented from playing said game? It’s like flashing up your company’s name before administrating a mild electric shock, who thought that would be a good way to build customer support?

  6. You have ads on this site?

    I’ve been fed up with this and had an ad blocker installed for years, to the point I can’t even tell – I just browse the internet in a blissful, ad free way.

    But now I feel kind of bad. Not bad enough to stop using the ad blocker altogether – in 99% of cases I feel the annoyance generated by ads more than justifies the site owner not getting money from me. After all, it’s not like I’ll ever click a banner ad, or even pay attention to it if at all possible, so it’s not like by showing me the ad, the site owner has actually done the advertiser a service worth paying for.

    But hey, I have no objections to scamming these people out of their hard earned money if it heps you out. I can only assume they’d do the same to me.

    • Fists says:

      You might be surprised by google ads, assuming you have cookies enabled it will either show you something relevant to key words on the page (today I’m being offered advertising space, bit meta?) or more effectively something from a recent search you did on google. So if you’ve been looking for home-audio stuff and used google to find the website you were looking for then come here you’ll get an ad for Bose or something which is a pretty good suggestion if you want some speakers.

      • Mari says:

        Really? Because mostly what I get are ads for Google Ads and ads for some kind of tennis shoes that have a logo that strongly resembles spermatozoa (why somebody thought that would be an awesome logo for shoes, I’m still in the dark). But hey, if clicking the sperm shoes ad helps Shamus out, I’m all over it.

      • Bubble181 says:

        Yeah, I don’t really dislike Google ads…Sometimes. Actually found useful stuff there, occasionally. Still, most of the time something is off with their search thingies…Either I get stuff from other countries, or for things related to but not actually what I’m looking for. If I’m browsing for safari holidays in Kenya, I’m probably interested in ads for safaris in Kenya; not for trips in Tibet. :-P

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    #3 intrigues me.I never had this problem on blip,but had it too many times to count on youtube.Could this be location related?Oh,closing ads doesnt stop the video for me either.

    As for the ads,I really liked the one for the beer party,no matter how many times I saw it.Meanwhile,the one about streaming annoyed the hell out of me because every time I thought that it was actually buffering.Worst thing about these ads though,is that none of them are even near me.Why are they giving me american ads in europe?

    • Bubble181 says:

      This is my #1 reason to “like” Google Ads. At least now, my internet is inundated with ads about companies I can order from, and/or services available to me.

  8. ngthagg says:

    The complaint I have in #3 is the one that bugs me the most. Forcing me to watch an ad, and then have the video fail to load, does not make me happy. If you can get the ad to play every single time (seriously, the only failure I’ve seen for an ad is when it needed to rebuffer every few seconds so the 30 second ad took a few minutes) but can’t get the video I want to watch to play, I have to assume either incompetence or deliberate evil. Neither one encourages me to revisit your site.

    • Abnaxis says:

      This, and the ads are ALWAYS HIGH DEF, with no option otherwise. I turn the definition on the video all the way down so I don’t have to wait a hundred years buffering, then they plaster an ad on there that buffers for three seconds for evey second it runs. It seriously took over ten minutes to run a two minute ad once.

      Crap like this is why I installed ad-blocker (and excepted Shamus, of course).

      • Jekyll says:

        There really seems to be no point to video ads. I mean, I despise when a 30 second ad take 5 years out of my life to buffer, but then you get ads that look like a jumble of pixelated atrocity. It seems like a failing proposition either way.

  9. DanMan says:

    This is interesting as Blip.tv has become an increasing presence in my life. Roosterteeth puts their new Red vs. Blue on Blip, Penny Arcade is on Blip as well as others. It appears that people on Blip have less copyright trouble than people on YouTube.

    What I’ve noticed is that it seems to depend on the content as to how annyoing the ads are.

    Penny Arcade and Rooster Teeth don’t always have ads before each video and the pop-up ads are significantly smaller. Penny Arcade doesn’t seem to ever have pop-ups.

    However, some of the other videos I watch have the incredibly annoying ads described here. The two with a good experience is more of a professional presence while the others are more amateur. I don’t know if it depends on the kind of account the users have or what.

    • Hitch says:

      “People on Blip have less copyright trouble than people on Youtube.” That because Blip.tv are the underdogs and therefore under the radar of the people sending out copyright violation notices. Youtube catches a lot of flack, but they’re just doing what they’re legally required to by the DMCA. As soon as people start taking notice of Blip.tv and sending them complaints, Blip.tv will do the same as Youtube.

      I guess alienating viewers is a way to stay small enough that copyright holders don’t bother with you.

      • decius says:

        Wrong. Youtube is doing MORE than required by the DMCA; they are just doing the minimum needed to keep from being sued.

      • Will says:

        Completely Wrong. I am a Youtube partner and also have a Blip channel. Youtube is HORRIBLE to do business with. They allow copyright trolls to claim they own copyrights they do not. Refuting them is a daily occurrence. Youtube knows it and does nothing about it. They even ignore letters from my attorney.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Oh,one more thing,I dont know how,but some videos(specifically gameheroes)have no ads at all.Is that just me,or are they doing something like paying blip not to pollute their videos with ads?

    • NonEuclideanCat says:

      Actually, the way it works is that the channel owner chooses whether or not to allow ads to play on their videos. If they do, they get a cut of the profits. A number of the LPers I watch from SA have mentioned how the ad revenue has paid for their LPs in full.

  11. Slothful says:

    I used to have no real problem with Blip, but there’s really only so many times you can listen to “Wireless fees and taxes bite like a cobra”

    I use adblock now. It is worlds easier. I almost miss some of those more clever Carl’s Jr. commercials, but I’m too busy doing things I actually intend to do to care.

  12. jokerman89 says:

    Im gonna put you site as an exception on my adblock :D

    even before i installed the blocker i didnt really remember any ads being here

  13. Vipermagi says:

    I don’t get ads on Blip nor Livestream; ad companies don’t like the Netherlands it seems. Adblockers are probably a cheaper alternative than moving, though, and AdBlock can be set up that it only blocks ads when you tell it to, rather than allow ads when you tell it to.

    The volume slider works as a regular slider for me, by the way.

  14. poiumty says:

    I never had a problem with blip.tv. In fact, I’m quite satisfied with it. Obviously, I block ads. I have ads blocked for sites I don’t want to support (most of’em), and for sites that have idiotic ad strategies (youtube, and looks like Blip now too). For ads that can’t be blocked, there’s always Remove It Permanently.
    shamusyoung.com has been an exception in my adblock for a long time now.
    Really, there’s no reason not to get adblock.

    • Alexander The 1st says:

      Almost all online webservices RELY on advertising revenue.

      Don’t want to support the website and its ads? Fine, don’t view the site.

  15. Michael says:

    The bar at the top (and bottom) of the post tells me which post is previous, and which comes next. A very useful feature. Then this bit of hilarity happened:

    “Previous: All Word Processors Suck.”

    On that page: “Previous: THIS IS WHAT IRONY TASTES LIKE.”

    And a great lol was had by all. I mean me.

  16. Tever says:

    Have you tried watching the videos in full screen? I was watching SF Debris like that yesterday, and while the ads were still ridiculous, they didn’t cover up the video itself. They just filled the black space beneath it.

  17. SolkaTruesilver says:

    What infuriates me over anything else is the lack of forethought in add-mix-matching.

    For example: my sis and I spent an entire evening watching the first 3 seasons of “The Guild”. For some reason, I’d expect marketers to know what kind of audience watch that specific show. But we got constantly bombed with adds of a teenage-princess movies with a girl called Gomez playing in it, and the add of a music show for teenagers.

    Seriously. This is THE GUILD. Put me gaming adds. Nerd-related adds. Geek-related adds. Comic-books, Transformer, ANYTHING but a teenage princess movie!

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      This. I am a regular on a few big, ad supported sites that pride themselves of having deals to only have ads that are at least vaguely related to the site content. Still, before the last presidential election in the US it turned out ad providers have a “if they pay us enough we can override this” clause. Which google did and served everyone a ton of ads in support of one candidate over another. Now, I can understand there are voting people on gaming sites but seriously, they can serve me ads in my native language, they can even serve me ads about specific offers in my city, you’d think they could notice the fact that I’m on the wrong continent and as such my vote is unlikely to matter much in the US elections.

      • Alexander The 1st says:

        I suspect the marketing idea behind that is not to get you to vote for them, but to get you to be knowledgeable about said candidate, in case someone you know who is going to vote in the elections asks you about them – sub-consciously, the fact that you know who it is will potentially effect their vote.

        EDIT: Also, proxies make location-based focus not always all that accurate. Just saying.

    • Mari says:

      Here’s the thing. My daughter loves “The Guild” too. And she watches teenage princess movies with that Selena Gomez person. I watch “The Guild” and I also watch a “teenage music show” in the form of “Glee” (since a large part of my geekery happens to revolve around musical and theater geekery). And lest we look like too much of an exception, I have at least a handful of friends who regularly Tweet and FB clips from “The Guild” as well as “Glee” clips and clips from other assorted “teenage girl” things.

      • SolkaTruesilver says:

        But it’s the minority target demographic. I am not saying teenage princess-movie fans don’t watch the guild. I am just saying that the kind of people who watch The Guild are more likely to be enthousiast for a Battlestar Galactica or a Transformer add than they will be for such a princess movie.

        Nothing wrong with Princess movies, but put them up in Justin Bieber’s video!!

        • Mari says:

          But then we would never see the princess movie ads because gah we hate that kid. :-P Although we can agree on the Battlestar Galactica at least. I would be ok with that and so would the kid.

          • SolkaTruesilver says:

            I still believe you are a rather exception in the marketing demographic. Nothing wrong with that, but I believe it’s a waste of money to spend an add on something the majority of your viewers are not even remotely interested, compared to an add that could make your viewers pause their video and watch the whole thing.

    • Jeysie says:

      My favorite on YouTube was always watching “Red Vs. Blue” and getting ads for makeup on one occasion and a women’s clothing line on another occasion.

  18. Samalander says:

    I haven’t used Blip much. I used to like them because they would allow you to download the original video file rather than the reduced-quality streaming version but that seems to be gone now.

    Could your blog’s code be mangling the embed code somehow? It’s happened to me a few times that the site I was trying to post to would somehow filter or sanitize the code being posted into being non-functional. Try to compare the embed code given by Blip to the non-functional code rendered in your browser.

    • whitehelm says:

      You still can, it’s just hidden. Go to blip.tv/(username)/rss where (username) is whoever’s video it is. All the video links will be listed.

  19. Kdansky says:

    You should not feel bad about blocking ads. Ads not getting seen isn’t the problem of the viewers. You have no obligation to look at something you don’t want to. If the seller wants to sell their service through ads, that is their concern.

    I make no exception for any page, even those that I like (RPS or here). No need to chastise myself, as I won’t click the ads anyway! By declaring that I don’t want to click on them, I might as well not look at them to begin with. Being an altruist towards some company on the other side of the world doesn’t give me any peace of mind.

    Makes a few good points on this subject:
    http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/2010/03/adblocking.html

    • Abnaxis says:

      There are quite a number of things wrong with this article (many of which are spelled out in the comments, but I’ll still toss my 2 cents below).

      First, and most egregious: he completely disregards the effect of bringing a product to a new demographic. I don’t troll the shelves of my local Wal-Mart looking for the latest flavor of Hot Pockets to come out. But when I see an ad for one, I become aware of its existence.

      This is where the real value of advertizing comes from. The sexy woman or the wholesome family or the funny comedian aren’t there because the ad company thinks you’re a moron who will be convinced you will get women, happiness, and humor when you buy the product. They’re there to grab your attention. Otherwise your brain phases out and you stop paying attention while the product is being shown, because you’re bored (at least, my brain phases out when I see the five-millionth rendition of the SAME. DAMN. CAR. COMMERCIAL. YMMV (Heh.)).

      I don’t know what the running exchange is on unique hits vs. cost of advertizing, but if 10% of the audience was not aware of a $5 product and became aware of after an ad, it’s worth it to pay $1000 for 10000 hits. And I’m pretty sure ad revenue is significantly cheaper than that…

      Second, and more germaine to this discussion: Ads don’t necessarily cost you anything. That, more than anything, is why I unblocked Shamus. I have no intention of ever clicking one of the ads–I don’t plan on buying gold-plated dice, Google ad services, or subscribing to RIFT, but Shamus is careful to monitor ads so they don’t interfere with content.

      If the ads don’t interfere with content, and generate revenue for a supplier I consume content from, what reason do I have for blocking them? It costs me nothing and gives money to a cause I support. That’s how advertising should work.

      Simply saying “I’ll never click them so I’m not a target” is missing the point, in more ways than one. First, the point of the ad isn’t to get you to click it, it’s to get you to see it. Second, when done properly, it costs you nothing but provides you with more, higher quality content. It’s like voting with your dollars, except you don’t actually have to spend any money.

    • Abnaxis says:

      Shamus, I had a reply to this, but your spam filter ate it ;(

      Can you restore it?

    • decius says:

      The counterpoint: The page you are viewing is being provided to you free of charge on the condition that you be exposed to the advertisement contained within it. By skipping the ad, you are doing the equivalent of sneaking into a movie theater.

  20. UTAlan says:

    For what it’s worth, I have you on my exception list for my ad blocker.

  21. Daimbert says:

    There are good ways and bad ways to do ads. Yours is pretty good. I like boardgamegeek’s, though, because they’re a little more obvious but you can easily ignore them most of the time. I’ve even clicked on a couple if something looked interesting.

    Then there are the sites that are getting into more and more intrusive ads, by:

    Popping up over the content, loading a new or the same one every time (really annoying when you’re reading a website about the news).

    Replacing the full page with an ad page that looks similar until you look at it in detail, but doesn’t have the right links.

    Pushing the main content off to the side to bring an ad front and centre, so that you have to close it to get to the content.

    This is happening all on one particular site that I like to read, and it’s getting annoying enough that I’m seriously thinking about never going there again. And it isn’t a small site by gifted and interested amateurs, but the main site for a major news conglomerate in Canada.

    So I completely agree that there’s too much emphasis in ads on being seen and not enough on being seen in a way that makes the customer think of you warmly as opposed to with complete hatred.

    • Bubble181 says:

      It seems the news media sites are especially guilty of this sort of crap.
      Perhaps that’s because they’re trying to get their site to create as much revenue from ads as they lose from ads in their former form (paper, radio, whatever). It’s bloody annoying, though…I mean, I have a subscription to a newspaper. It arrives in paper at another address – my parents’ – so I tend to read it on line. But despite being a paying consumer, I’m still forced to jump through 2 click-through ads on my way to content, get flashy ads in the middle of my news paper articles, get sound and video roll-overs,….GAH.

  22. Meredith says:

    At the moment, I seem to have an ad for ads, which amuses me. I had to go looking for it, though. You really do keep them out of the way. In fact, you could probably do a few more without being annoying. As long as they don’t flash, pop up/over, make noise (oh god, the noisy ones!), or do that stupid expanding trick every time I bring my mouse nearby, I tend not to notice ads. Sites with any of the above can die in a fire, including Blip apparently (I can’t recall ever using it).

  23. Eric says:

    I use Adblock Plus and NoScript on sites except for those I allow (NoScript requires a bit more advanced scripting to tell to “only allow X script on Y site” but it works in the end). I don’t see any ads on Blip.tv. Consequently, I don’t seem to run into issues with videos stuttering, pausing, volume fluctuations, etc. Now, I don’t want to imply that the advertising on the site is the cause of all problems, but… well, try it out and see if your experience is better?

    More generally about advertising, I am more than willing to accept a certain degree of it provided the site gives me something I want. Many of my regular sites I have unblocked, because I realise how much work it is to support a site, especially if you’re either doing it for a living or out of your own pocket as a side venture. That said, I have limits. The site I currently write for, GameBanshee, used to have some terrible, screen-covering ads for something or other that literally blocked all interaction with the site’s content for something like ten seconds. It was more than obnoxious. Fortunately, the owner was made aware of it and had them removed (and it’s very common for the “wrong” ads to show, from what I’ve picked up from site owners), but if it was any other site it might have been enough for me to stop visiting altogether.

    I know they make the least money of all, but non-Flash, non-”flashing” banner ads are probably my favourite. What’s wrong with a simple image? It won’t piss me off, it won’t make me leave the site, I won’t block it out of annoyance, and I might even click on it! Modern Internet ads are akin to if the ads in a magazine played loud messages over miniature speakers every time you flipped the page to one of them, and if something you want to read has an ad on it… well, there’s a reason we have scissors.

    It utterly amazes me how so many businesses feel that disrespecting their customers is the key to success, whether that’s ads, horrible customer support, treating them like idiots, actively exploiting them, monopolising the market, etc. I guess it really must pay off in the end, though, because everyone seems to be doing it in one way or another.

    • X2-Eliah says:

      Banner ads are annoying in that they don’t follow the website format. For example, thissite is a column of x pixels; all the sides are empty, even when browser is maximized. But banner ads run merrily from one edge to the other, completely ruining the website’s look & feel.

      Also, you know, obstructing precious screen space – they aren’t even in a separated section, but just brutely overlay everything on the whole bottom.

  24. Rustybadger says:

    Shamus, is your ad revenue generated by views, or by clicks?

    Also: I usually read this in my RSS reader, and only click through if I want to join the conversation in the comments. If you ran ads in the RSS it’d probably improve your view count.

    • Fede says:

      I was going to ask exactly this. Can we help you by clicking on ads? or it is simply a matter of viewing the site?

    • Shamus says:

      A bit of both. Simple views are worth a modest bit, in high enough numbers.

      I’ve mulled over putting a small banner at the bottom of a post in my RSS. Not sure how it would break down on the outrage / acceptance scale. There are plugins that do it, so it would be easy on my end. Thoughts?

      • Fat Tony says:

        At the least your nice enough to jusy say : “Hey viewers/readers/schmuks and assorted weirdos, I’m going to put up ads, what’s your opinion on how and where I should put so as to not tottaly piss you off”
        Which is cool

      • poiumty says:

        I don’t think people would object to any of this extra grey space being filled with a bit of color as long as it’s unintrusive, undisturbing and doesn’t hurt the eyes.

      • Lalaland says:

        Do it. The annoyance value of the ads you describe couldn’t possily be higher than the entertainment value of a typical post and thus represents a small ‘payment’ by me for the entertainment value of same.

      • bassdrum says:

        To be honest, I’d never really even noticed that there WERE ads on this site until you pointed it out in this point. So far, they’re not at all in the way or obnoxious–so yeah, feel free to throw up a few more basic banner ads. We all get to read all of your posts and watch all of your videos for a good chunk of daily entertainment free of charge; you more than deserve to put up a small ad or two to get some money out of it. To be honest, the only time ads bother me is when they get in my way, and judging by your post, you feel the same way–so I trust to your judgement.

      • X2-Eliah says:

        Hmm.. If they take up free side-space, then yeah, go for it. However, if you meant the banner ads that place themselves across the entire bottom line of the browser window, please don’t.

        • porschecm2 says:

          I think Shamus means just a simple horizontal banner ad at the bottom of posts, that will scroll with the page. If that is what he means, I say go for it. I’m more than happy to put up with a few more relatively unintrusive ads to support this site/Shamus. If he means an ad that goes across the bottom of the page, and stays there, and doesn’t scroll, then please, please no. I can’t stand things that don’t scroll with the page.
          Also, I use Ad-Block, but I have it permanently turned off on any sites I wish to actively support. That includes this one, of course.

          • Shamus says:

            Yeah, just a regular rectangle of stuff that sits at the end of the post. I figure, if you’re there, you’ve read the whole thing (no small accomplishment on some of my more blathersome posts) and will likely be in the mood to humor an ad.

            • Simon Buchan says:

              A minor point, but I (slightly) prefer banners above page content to between the content and comments – the flow feels better to me. Don’t know how well that would work with your layout though.

      • acronix says:

        So, if we click enough times on the ads, would we make you a millonaire?

        Also, I don`t mind ads as long as the page isn`t crowded with them or take space that would obviously belong to my browser window.

      • Kavonde says:

        Hey, putting ads at the bottom of the page is what Cracked does, and I certainly don’t mind.

        Although the fact that it’s usually an ad for Snorgtees may affect my opinion.

  25. Joe Cool says:

    I get the same problems with YouTube streams stalling and the page needing to be refreshed to get it going again. Happens quite often to me.

    That is all.

  26. NonEuclideanCat says:

    Yeah, they’re annoying, but I’ve long since stopped having to watch them. I just download the source video. It takes a bit longer to get to the content, but I’ve got lots of other things to occupy my time.

  27. I have also just put you in as an exception on my adblock. Cheers!

  28. Jekyll says:

    Now that I think about it the worst use of ads has to be when sites jump you back to the top of the page when the ads inevitably lag behind the rest of the content on the page. Nothing is more annoying than having to scroll back to the same point in an article 3 pr 4 times because the ads had to load.

    • BenD says:

      Ah, but it’s also frustratingly dumb when the ads load first and you don’t get to see any website content until all 42.7 mb of flashing video animated popover floaty popbehind windowclicks have loaded. And then, they cover up the content area.

      • Jekyll says:

        Ya, after looking at this and what I wrote a bit above I guess i change my statement to “all ads find some way to annoy the hell out of me” Even the usually tame Escapist is pulling the cover the screen crap.

        • Bubble181 says:

          usually tame Escapist?
          They have lots of content I like – ZP, EC, you name it – but the site itself, for its ads and its lay-out, needs to burn in hell. It’s a horrible, hard-to-navigate, annoying crapfest.

  29. Manny says:

    I have adblock disabled for very few websites, but this is one of them. I don’t mind the way they are implemented here, and google ads are sometimes even remotely interesting. The most interesting part being that they are somewhat creepy when they show you how much they recorded during your last surf session.

    These last days, the ad window is showing me constantly the site to a webshop were I frequently buy stuff. If this keeps up long enough, I will make my next purchase by passing through twentysided. That will be the first time I actually click on a banner with the intention of buying something.

    The escapist site on the other hand is getting on my nerves lately with their large overlay ads for “free to play mass effect 2″, and the publisher club ads at the end of every video. If you want to quickly watch the last seconds of a video again, these ads get swiftly annoying.

  30. houser2112 says:

    I’ve found that not having Flash installed improves my browsing experience immensely.

  31. BenD says:

    Let me know if you do take the Mexican restaurant job. I’ll give you an outstanding personal reference, and then I’ll avoid eating there. ;)

  32. Nick says:

    I think http://thatguywiththeglasses.com uses blip.tv, and whilst it does have the only-onr-ad issue, they don’t seem to have many of the others – maybe get in contact with them to see if they have some special way of getting around all this?

  33. lazlo says:

    So what you’re saying here is that the blipverts are making your head explode?

    I seem to recall having heard of that problem before….

  34. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I think this is driven by the same kind of spiralling stupidity DRM is. Someone out there realised people are tuning out ads (think “banner blindness”), so they started making ads that are more attention drawing: flashing, movement. People started to tune these out too so they combined it with sound, then, in the spirit of the TV ads they made the sound louder, then they made it so ads couldn’t be tuned out so easily because they obscure the content. Then they realised people were blocking ads, so they started to look for ways to work around it (such as trying to conceal ads as part of the content and such).

    The similarity to the DRM lies in this illusory notion that “we could be doing so much better if not for the sinister forces that attempt to harm us out of spite”. I mean, let’s talk about “serious” ad servers here, not the “YOU ARE VISITOR #…” ones. What do they think they gain by doing stuff like obscuring the button to close the ad, making it minuscule or, in one case I’ve seen, actually making it “run away” from the cursor three times before letting the user click it? These are tactics that seem to be aimed at “stealing klicks”, getting people to click on the ad by accident. Sure, I imagine they can show the company buying the ad “we got this many people to your site” but (again, not talking about stuff that servers you malware the moment you click) this extra traffic does not turn into extra profit, people will usually close the tab the ad opened before it even fully loads, not to mention browsing or shopping. The ad companies are largely fighting this fight either for some misguided principle or to be able to show their clients they are doing stuff to “combat ad blocking”.

    • krellen says:

      Congress has passed a law (that either goes into effect later this year or already has) outlawing commercials whose volume is higher than the volume of the show they accompany. So this is (or shall soon become) a uniquely internet problem.

    • Abnaxis says:

      I think you’re right, that the problems with DRM and obnoxious advertising are linked, but I think it runs even deeper than you say. I think the real problem lies in people’s way of approaching information.

      The thing about advertising is, it is very hard to justify the costs of advertising to a producer. There’s no way to “prove” that an ad campaign has any effect. It’s all statistics–you can look at how many people buy a product before and after an ad campaign, but there’s no way to prove conclusively if the number changes whether it was due to the ad campaign or due to outside influences. You might be able to run some numbers, give a % confidence interval, but you will ultimately be limited by the amount of data you have available to run said model. That’s why companies put so much money into focus groups–I would still argue that it isn’t a conclusive indicator of the effectiveness of advertising, but it’s the best they can do and they need to justify the cost somehow.

      Enter the internet. The problem with normal advertising is that you can’t draw a direct link between an ad someone saw on TV or on a billboard and the purchasing decision they make when they get to the grocery, but companies have fooled themselves into thinking the internet is different–that they can draw a direct link by looking at how many people click an ad. The thinking is, if I click an ad, that means the ad worked, and if I don’t it means the ad failed.

      The line of logic is very similar to proponents of DRM, who look at the sheer number of piracies and concludes that all those pirates are people who would pay for the game if they were forced to. I mean, they have to want the game to be downloading it, right?

      The problem is, these assumptions are just plain untrue. Successful ads aren’t the ones I click, they’re the ones I remember. Pirates aren’t lost sales. There is a wealth of information that is available on the internet, whose measurements are perfectly accurate and indisputable (like the number of clicks a banners gets), but companies need to realize that there are limitations to what this data can measure, and stop looking for some sort of golden standard that can concretely justify the money they spend. It’s not particularly comfortable, mixing theoretical probabilities and business, but it’s not something technology is going to be a quick fix for.

  35. MelTorefas says:

    I am kind of a sensitive soul, probably because I am autistic and have a fairly severe anxiety disorder. I find that any ads besides text ones pull my attention away from the webpage and make focusing very difficult. For me, ad-blockers are pretty much a necessity.

    I remember trying to get ads to show on your site a year ago, with no luck. So just now I tried again… disabled ad-blocker and told no-script to “temporarily allow all this page”. I reloaded, and immediately was graced with a banner ad showing a picture of a disfigured woman with one of those bypass holes in her neck. A face which will grace my nightmares for days to come, I am sure. I am sorry to say my ad-block is back in place for the time being. :(

    • Bubble181 says:

      Seriously? I wonder what your surfing habits are o_O I get coupons for wellness centres, get-away-from-work-for-a-weekend-in-a-French-castle, massage parlours and stuff all the time o_O :-P

  36. Lalaland says:

    At last being in Ireland provides me with an advantage in web video! Can’t have Hulu, Comedy Central or any broadcaster web streams but at least I can add Blip.tv ads to that list now. I watched two hours of ‘Confused Matthew’ last night blissfully ad free, I heartily recommend his Star Wars prequels reviews, they’re more focused on the internal(il)logic of the plot

  37. Beren says:

    Serious question -

    What is it that YOU do to specifically make sure the ads you are sending us are clean of malware?

    I personally don’t have any problem having ads on a page, it’s pretty easy to tune out unless there is some kind of banner following badness or rage inspiring sound.

    What I realized was that not only was I trusting the code that you and other websites I like serve me from your main page but also ANY of HUNDREDS of random chunks of code via these ad networks websites use.

    Ad networks that are pretty much total scum. Yes they’ll take something down if enough people cry. I don’t feel confident in

    A- That they have ANY privacy policies.

    B- That they have anyone checking ad code before plopping it on the network.

    C- Once again… hundreds and thousands of random snippets of poorly sandboxed code.

    D- Look at the recent issues with google images. Malware people are gaming the search results to get their badness to the top of search results.

    E- Having products I browsed at lampsplus following me around the web via adnetworks isn’t helpful, it’s creepy.

    I would like websites to have a clear “ad policy” page that we could inspect to see what the answers to these questions are.

    It is the website owner’s responsibility to own these ads since they are “blessing” the code that runs on the site.

    Interesting site btw, I’ll throw you a donate if I keep reading :)

    • Shamus says:

      “What is it that YOU do to specifically make sure the ads you are sending us are clean of malware?”

      I don’t want to create the impression that I’m some safety net. Basically, I can block specific ads. I used to do this all the time when I’d get sketchy “virus scan” ads and other such piffle. That’s pretty rare these days. It’s been over a month since I went in and blocked an ad.

      • Simon Buchan says:

        I don’t think evil adverts are generally too much of a problem with a not-ancient browser, most adverts are loaded with an <iframe>, which when it’s from another domain is completely sandboxed: basically it can only tell what url the page that’s loading it is from (specifically, it can’t display outside it’s frame, or read or modify any of the containing documents elements). This also applies the other way – the containing page can’t see or modify the <iframe> content (you might be able to draw over it, though).

        Also, in *theory*, clicking an advert also shouldn’t be enough to put malware on your system. If it does, it’s a browser bug, meaning it’s about as likely just loading the ad can put malware on your system. (Not that I recommend clicking with abandon – one chance at exposure is better than two.)

      • Thor says:

        LOL! It may be bad timing, but I got three “virus scan” ads while reading your site over the last hour :( They seem to lead to www1.uniblue.com/etc…

  38. GM says:

    i got something from Denmark about some bank ha ha.

  39. Jeff says:

    The ads on this page seem convinced I have a baby. I haven’t even had a girlfriend for a year. Big Brother’s going blind or something.

  40. Mari says:

    I never thought I would say this, but sometimes I miss the video ads on Hulu. My adblocker combo is getting increasingly good at filtering out in-video ads to the point where I don’t have ads at all via some sites anymore (sadly, blip isn’t one of them). The thing is, with sites like Hulu that actually have “commercial breaks” what I end up with is a minute to a minute and a half of silent black screen instead. I’d almost rather have the minute’s silence filled with pointless advertising chatter. On a website, you mostly don’t even notice the “missing” ads, but on streaming video you tend to notice the absence and it just feels kind of creepy.

  41. Zukhramm says:

    I never actually saw the point about blocking ads at all. These video services is pretty much the only time I’ve even thought of it. The thing is, if some site has annoying adds that covers the screen or ads with sound (ugh) I’ll say “good bye, I’ll find what I want somewhere else”.

  42. anna says:

    As several people have pointed out in the comments, and as I did in a recent blog post, the site you publish several things on, the Escapist, has many of these problems, plus they manage to crash firefox 4 in Linux with some of their ads.

    Which is sad, because I like a lot of the content at the Escapist.

  43. Kavonde says:

    I’ve run into a lot of annoyances on Blip, too, especially the ever-repeating ads. But if I’m on Blip, I’m probably watching something by Spoony or That Guy With the Glasses, and I know they need the ad revenue. Not sure how much they get paid for it, but I know I’ve made a whopping $0.03 on ads for my Eragon book reviews so far.

  44. potemkin.hr says:

    “Blip loses. The people who put content on Blip lose. The people who suffered through blip ads lose. The people who advertised on Blip lose. (I now hate that friggin’ Mexican Restaurant that advertises on Blip. The first time I saw the ad I was hungry. The tenth time I was annoyed. The fiftieth time I vowed to take a job there and do a Tyler Durden in the food.) Pretty much everyone loses.”
    …except for the AdBlock users, which can watch the videos hassle-free.

  45. porschecm2 says:

    Shamus, *have* you changed your ad content at all? I know you discussed it a little in the comments up there, but I was just reading through the last procedural content post comments, and I got a pop-up ad over the comments. That struck me as particularly odd for your website.
    Here’s a screen-grab: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5307/5882712850_8814739eb6_o.jpg
    I’m wondering if it came from your site, or if I need to root it out elsewhere.

    • Shamus says:

      That shouldn’t be from my site. Google ads stay in their assigned box, and have the little adsense thing in the corner.

      • CalDazar says:

        Bugger, I got that recently while here and if ot’s not from you…
        Bugger.

        • Jattenalle says:

          It’s from Facebook, which Shamus recently made a lengthy post about, how awesome it is and that people who complain about it should go away (I’m paraphrasing because I got annoyed)
          Ever since that post I’ve made it a point to block all JavaScript and Flash content on here as Shamus, whom I trust, is no longer in direct control and the sites that are in control are not on my trusted list ;)

          • Shamus says:

            Now I’m annoyed. Don’t put words in my mouth.

            • Jattenalle says:

              Well annoyed as we are that doesn’t change anything. The “scorecardresearch” crap is originating from this site even if it’s by proxy (via an ad or whatever, it’s really irrelevant) so to speak.

              Anyhow, score card research is annoying, and blocking it also blocks your ads. In my previous post I said it was originating from Facebook but it seems it’s also spawned from some ad services, not pretending to be an expert here so I’ll just confess I just Googled it and read a few dozen pages about the thing. It seems to be a fairly common issue.

              • Jattenalle says:

                Edit:
                Check this page’s source.
                It’s in a block called “comScore Tag”

                • Shamus says:

                  Ah! Thanks for figuring that out. That’s a leftover tag from ages ago, from when I ran ads for a different service. I’d forgotten it was there. VERY annoyed that it’s DOING anything. I was originally assured that it only existed to track my traffic (so I could bill them for impressions.) I’m VERY annoyed that it’s “serving” ads. It’s not supposed to. Moreover, they are not paying me.

          • Cez says:

            How is it from Facebook? I am not getting it and I am connected via Facebook.

  46. Juvenihilist says:

    Oh Shamus, for what it´s worth you are far from a loser :/
    I really hope someone notices your talent and gives you a job.

  47. Allen says:

    One more pet peeve: ads that are longer than the video clip I want to watch.

    Sorry, I’m not going to sit through your 30 second pre-show for a 15 second clip. I don’t care how good it is, just ain’t happening.

    • Noble Bear says:

      Exactly, I don’t watch many short videos but Confused Matthew has a few that are just a couple of minutes (usually to introduce a category)and its still preceded by the same 30 second ad.

      “Obnoxious” can only begin to describe it.

  48. Noble Bear says:

    I haven’t seen an ad from a Mexican Restaurant yet, but Banana Boat and HTC really REALLY want my business. And yeah, the Banana Boat ads are cranked to 11.

    The ad before the video is something I tollerate, its the banner ads that pop up at the bottom and upper corner *during* the video that I cant stand. It’s like playing the worst Facebook game ever.

  49. CalDazar says:

    I have a list of products that had god awful ads, bad enough that I decided not to purchase the product out of spite.

    Coke is currently right at the top of that list.

  50. krellen says:

    You know, I’d never heard of Blip.tv before commenters here started talking about it. And I’ve still never used it. What am I missing (besides annoying ads?)

    • acronix says:

      I think… some people put their Let`s Plays there. Or something.

      • NonEuclideanCat says:

        I would go so far as to say that the majority of the Let’s Players from the Something Awful (SA) forums either host their LPs exclusively on blip, or use it as a mirror.

        Quoted from the Tech Support Fort:
        Pros:
        • Can host HD video.
        • No time limit.
        • FTP Upload.
        • Option to download source video.
        • Unlikely to die any time soon.
        • Won’t re-encode your video if you upload it in an FLV container.
        – FLV? Extract this script (thanks Aleksei Vasiliev) into a folder, then drop your video onto the MAKEFLV.cmd file.

        Cons:
        • Must follow their episodic TV Show concept or risk getting your account deleted.
        • This means: Fill out all their forms carefully to make it look like a TV show.
        • This means: Have voice at the start of your videos.
        • This means: No subtitled VLPs. (Some say they don’t delete subtitled VLPs anymore, but use at your own risk.)

        Plus, some clever goon(s) made a website that gives direct access to the source video. So no ads, and you can download it.

  51. Felblood says:

    Y’know. It’s funny.

    I don’t have a computer of my own, and all my friends are adblocked to crap and back.

    Thus, I enjoy an ad free internet, even though I don’t ever have to set up an adblock system myself, or feel guilty about using one.

    The only drawback is that I would probably adblock less aggressively on sites like this one, but I don’t fiddle with other people’s browser settings.

  52. Nick says:

    There are ads on Youtube??

  53. Count_Zero says:

    Huh. I haven’t had those problems with Blip.TV. Pop Up ads don’t take up as much of the screen and go away after a few minutes, if I don’t click the X. If I do click the X, the video doesn’t pause, just carries on. Videos appear to load just fine for me, and no-one has complained on sites that I’ve embedded my video on about having problems loading the videos. Now, all that said, there isn’t much of a variety for ads – I’ll generally see the same ad over and over again at the start and conclusion of several different videos.

    Well, I did have the ad audio problem, but I mute ads by reflex (whether it’s on TV or online), so I don’t encounter it very often.

    That Guy With The Glasses (TGWTG) has had a few problems in the past few days with some specific ads, but Blip.TV is apparently aware of the problem and working on it.

    As it is, currently I’m using Blip.TV over YouTube for my video content because, in short, I don’t get enough video views to get revenue through YouTube (you need an average of 1,000 views per video or something like that to get ads), and writing articles for Examiner pays even less than Blip.TV, and gives less feedback for where my traffic is coming from. I could put ads on my own blog, but to do that I’d need to register a domain, transfer myself to that hosting company, and get add banners set up, and as I’m unemployed, I can’t afford that right now.

    EDIT: Correction, to get on Adsense for Video, I need 10,000,000 views in a month. Being that I am not Felicia Day, that pretty much rules me out.

  54. You forgot to point out how the ads that block the video WILL RETURN AFTER YOU CLOSED THEM! I seriously do not understand how this service can be so popular.

  55. Thor says:

    Whoops, I didn’t realise that ad views (as opposed to clicks) bring you income. I am using an ad blocker but now that I know that I may have to whitelist your site, and others I like.

  56. Zaxares says:

    I probably will regret this, but… What’s a “Tyler Durden in the food” mean?

  57. David Armstrong says:

    Well, I have a forum suspension on the Escapist for complaining about their intrusive pop-over ads.

    I made a few comments in their Moderator feedback mini-forum, and linked this Twenty-Sided article.

    Haven’t heard back from them yet.

    • David Armstrong says:

      They permabanned me from the Escapist. And they deleted the posts where I linked Twenty-Sided.

      Way to go Escapist Moderators, making all Moderators look like douches.

      • Lord Of Rapture says:

        Wow…that’s…wow…

        I have no words. That is simply inexcusable. Simply more reason to declare the Escapist forums the second* garbage bin of the internet.

        *the first being 4chan

      • krellen says:

        I seem to recall that Shamus had to delete some of your comments here as well. Was it the content or the tone that got you banned?

  58. deiseach says:

    Speaking of your ads, I was scrolling through this post on my new smartphone when I inadvertantly clicked on an ad. What pops up but Games for Windows Marketplace. Something tells me they don’t know you.

    (PS I don’t mind your ads, and after reading this post I’ll be clicking on a few more. Maybe even MS ones.)

  59. Fourthords says:

    Now I’m hungry for Spam. Thanks, Shamus.

  60. Hey Shamus,

    I’m the CEO of blip.tv and one of the founders.

    I’m sorry that you had a bad experience. And I’m happy that you’re writing about it and giving us a chance to a) answer you, and b) get better. I’ll address your post point by point.

    Overall, I’ll emphasize this: we’re dedicated to providing a great viewer experience while making money for show producers. We’re constantly working to balance these priorities, and no one should ever have the experience you’ve had. I’m working with our VP of Revenue Operations, SVP of Sales and EVP of Operations to address your complaints.

    Also, I’m around all day. Feel free to call me at 646-417-4702 (my cell) if you want to vent more. I’m leaving on vacation at 9p eastern tonight, so try to reach me before 7p or so… otherwise I may not be able to get back to you ntil I get back home :)

    So, without further ado, your points…

    1) “I couldn’t embed these movies like I wanted to.” – This should just work. The only reason I can think that this wouldn’t work is if you’re using WordPress.com or certain versions of WordPress that block certain embeds. We’re working with WordPress on fixing this, in the meantime there’s a workaround that someone in the comments mentioned.

    2) “The same ad. All the time. Every time.” We have a system that, on our destination site, only shows one preroll ad per five minutes. We use different policies on different sites, so it’s possible that you’re viewing in a place where we don’t have that same user experience setting in place. Note that you have to watch a complete ad before your five minute counter starts — this is to prevent people from just refreshing as soon as the ad plays and not watching any ads at all. Please remember that these ads don’t just make us money. They make the show producer money, too. Our mission is to make a sustainable living for producers.

    3) “Their servers are crap.” We have extensive monitoring in place to ensure that we’re consistently delivering video to people as they watch it and that there’s an absolute minimum in stalling and buffering. We also use Akamai for video delivery, the world standard in content delivery networks.

    If you’re having problems with buffering please send an e-mail to support@blip.tv and include your IP address. We’ll check the connection between our servers and your computer and we can also do live tests to see how streaming is going and if it’s working.

    4) “Pop-up ads pop up too often.” We don’t do pop-up ads. We do, however, serve “overlay” ads that cover the lower third of the video player for a few seconds. Clicking “Close” on them shouldn’t pause your video. The ad should just go away. If this isn’t the case please e-mail support@blip.tv and tell us what ad this happened with.

    5) “Pop-up ads are too big.” They shouldn’t be. They should only cover the bottom third of the video player. And they should scale to be smaller on smaller players. A few days ago we had a problem with one of our ad providers sending through larger overlays, and we’ve disabled those campaigns. If you’re still seeing them that’s a problem.

    6) “Pop-up ads punish the viewer.” I don’t think that overlay ads that really only cover the lower third punish the viewer. I think they’re actually less intrusive and annoying than thirty second prerolls. Producers who use blip have the option of turning different ad formats on and off, so if they don’t want overlays they don’t have to run overlays.

    7) “Volume of ads is far louder than the content, and the volume button is wonky.” I think this is a real problem and we’re working on a solution. The problem is that all of the shows are mastered at different volume levels, and so are the ads. We’re working to come up with a sustainable solution to this.

    Yours,

    Mike Hudack
    Co-founder & CEO, blip.tv

  61. One quick update. I just met with our revenue operations team. They’ve narrowed the issue you’ve had with overlays down to one provider and three campaigns. We’re pulling that provider today and telling them that they won’t be able to run with us again until these issues are fixed.

    Yours,

    Mike Hudack
    Co-founder & CEO, blip.tv

  62. FuzzyGhost says:

    I like to watch a lot of content from groups/people like The Spoony Experiment, Nostalgia Critic, Rooster Teeth, etc. The problem is they use Blip.TV (some of them use it exclusively), which means I end up either letting it buffer for 10 to 30 minutes (even for a 5 minute video), or just playing it for the little bit it has buffered, and pausing again.

    As far as using an ad blocker on their site, it doesn’t work. I still get the same crap you experience Shamus:
    *Same ad played for days before each video
    **Sometimes their streaming is so terrible, I have to wait for THE AD TO BUFFER!
    *Pop-up ads every few minutes
    **Which I have to click the X button several times before the ad dismisses, telling the video to pause when it does dismiss the ad

    I’m not sure which I want more, Blip.TV to fix their code, or for all the people who make the content to switch to some other service (preferably YouTube).

    • Count_Zero says:

      As I mentioned earlier – the problem with YouTube is if you want revenue from your videos, then YouTube is not the place for you unless you can muster Felicia Day/Dr. Horrible level traffic.

      • FuzzyGhost says:

        I do understand that most content creators need ad revenue to continue to create, and only a handful on YouTube make money out of sharing their videos on the web. However, Blip.TV isn’t making it easy for the viewers, and that is going to cause people to shy away from their service. Plus, some of them do make money on more than just the ad revenue, such as Rooster Teeth (while they do post on YouTube, Red Vs. Blue gets posted first on Blip.TV).

      • Zak McKracken says:

        The other problem with Youtube is that if things go on too far, they’ll have a monopoly, and that spells trouble. Google’s uncomfortably large already.
        In a way, they already have a monopoly, and it’s not a good thing, too. These giantonormous web presences scare me because if you’re heavy enough there’s crazy stuff you can do and get away with. I’d rather just have a bunch providers of well-working video streaming software and another bunch of providers of servers and bandwidth, and then another bunch of sites where these videos are linked to and so on. But of course that’s a lot less practical than just putting all videos one place (and thus, all eggs in one basket), and so once again the world doesn’t do what I tell it to. How dare it!

  63. SecretSmoke says:

    Y’know, now that you posted this article about the ads being part of your income, I disabled my adblocker for this site :P So I guess…thanks for being upfront about it lol, also this is my first post, yeah!

  64. Simplex says:

    I disabled AdBlock on Shamus’ site long ago. I don’t click the ads, tho.

    On a side note, they must be geographically targeted because I am getting Polish ads.

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