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New ads jar some YouTube fans

Google has finally figured out how to monetize YouTube videos. Is it worth it?

Fans of Google's YouTube are starting to react to overlay advertisements the company began testing on Wednesday. Some find them jarring, some in international quarters wish they could see them, and still others are wondering if they can make money off their own videos with these ads. While there's hardly a unanimous opinion, one thing is for certain: Google is finally looking to cash in on its $1.65 billion YouTube acquisition.

The ads appear at the bottom of a video shortly after the clip starts to play and disappear after 10 seconds. They resemble the TV-style ads that often feature the image of a celebrity walking onto the bottom of a TV screen for a few brief moments. YouTube executives said Tuesday that extensive testing showed that viewers rejected any format that forced them to sit through a commercial prior to a clip being played, a process known as a pre-roll.

Using overlays, executives said, was the least intrusive way to get a message in front of their audience, or so they believe.

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See also The future of video ads on Webware.