Google is experimenting with skippable, pre-load advertisements for YouTube videos. A short ad spot will play before select videos, though users have the option to "skip" them with a single click.
Mashable looks at why this is being done:
From the users' perspective, this isn't new; in fact, pre-roll advertisements are prevalent on many other video sites, such as Hulu. Google, however, aims to develop a new advertising model based on the user's behavior. When Google first started testing pre-roll ads, abandonment rates were as high as 70%. But it worked much better when users were watching longer (15 -- 20 minute long) clips, with completion rates being up to 85%.
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