Take This Spot and Shove It

Those advertisers sure know a captive audience when it sees one.

I'm talking about the newest way they're getting you to watch their ads---by boldly placing them in front of various videos you click to watch on the Internet.

And they're getting worse.

It used to be that the advertiser spots you'd be forced to view would last 10 seconds. No biggie; 10 seconds isn't too long to settle in and watch what you hope will be a compelling, funny, interesting, cute video.

Then the spots grew to 15 seconds in length. OK, what's 15 seconds, right? That doesn't seem too long.

Now they're a full 30 seconds in length, and they're showing up in more and more videos, annoyingly so.

Now we have a problem.

First, 30 seconds is a long time. It may not seem like it, but grab a watch with a second hand, close your eyes, and count out what YOU believe are 30 seconds. Almost guaranteed, the watch will tell you that you're shy.

Besides that, having to sit through a 30-second ad to watch a video that often times is barely that long itself, is the height of annoyance.

Not that the advertisers care about that, of course.

Consider it payback for all the times we zoom past their commercials on TV programs that we've recorded on our DVR.

Zoom past THIS, the advertisers are saying.

You see, once the "sponsor message" begins playing, you can't get past it. You are, for those 30 seconds, about as helpless and as captive as a fly in a spider's web.

I even had to watch the same ad a second time, because I had the nerve to click "replay" of the video I had just viewed. I wanted to yell, "I meant replay the VIDEO, not the commercial!!"

Sure, you can simply not pay attention to the ad. But the fact remains: they took 30 seconds away from you, regardless. Sometimes even 60.

I know what you're saying.

"Eno, this is just another case of whining when it won't do you any good."

True, but doesn't it feel good sometimes to rant, even if it's unlikely to bear fruit?

You think sitting through a 30-second commercial is bad? Don't look now, but there has been talk that the Internet itself may not be a free thing anymore---and I mean, beyond the cost you pay your provider every month.

Yes, I'm talking about pay-per-view sites and other little fees to make money off content that has been, since Internet time immemorial, 100% free of charge.

But that's still a ways off. Right now, the annoyance is forcing us to watch 30-second ads before our selected videos.

Never has half-a-minute seemed interminable.


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