Satire: YouTube to Add More Advertisements

Written by Rob Speed

Every generation has their own stories of different technology used during class time. From chalkboards to whiteboards to wheeled-in television sets with VCRs, any college student can recall a teaching aid specific to their time.
The educational aid of this generation, though, is none other than the YouTube video. There are few better ways to add visual aid, provide dramatic context, or elongate class time than to pull up a YouTube video during class.

One consequential experience every student knows, though, is the pre-roll advertisement. Nothing says “college in the 21st century” like a class period suddenly interrupted by the blaring voice of a desperate businessperson through speakers.

Many have expressed frustration with the amount of uninvited advertisement. What was once an occasional interruption is now a consistent disturbance from twelve seconds to a solitary minute.

Thankfully, YouTube’s parent company, Google, has taken note of these complaints. “We agree; two ads before a video during class is ridiculous,” said a YouTube representative. “That’s why we’ll be increasing it to twenty.”

With delighted reception, YouTube is now implementing a “college tax” for their videos. Any video shown during class will now play anywhere from fifteen to thirty advertisements before the requested video plays.

Students have never been more thrilled. “My favorite part of class is awkwardly keeping quiet when a bunch of flashy ads take over the screen,” a Bryan sophomore said. “Now that will take up about a third of the class period. Thanks, YouTube!”

Some professors have already had to account for the newly shortened teaching time. Communication professor Mr. Palmer in particular has expressed concerns about half of his instruction time disappearing. He eventually concluded that these interruptions would be a great way to witness the execution of communication principles.

This shift in YouTube’s policy was first discovered during a student’s class presentation. This junior student was given five minutes to present and chose to open with a visual aid from YouTube.

She spent a couple minutes sweating through the process of signing into her account and hurriedly looking up the video for all the class to witness. Upon starting her video, to her mounting distress, an ad played… and so did another… and another… until she had to end her presentation before saying a word. “I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed such an image of pure dread,” a fellow student in the class said after the experience.

Oddly enough, some students and faculty take issue with the extent of these interruptions, deeming them excessive. However, even those who complain still refuse to switch to another video sharing platform. They claim the move would be “too inconvenient.”

“We’re definitely still learning; it’s just different,” one senior student said. “When someone asks what I learned at college, I’ll tell them that I’m well-versed in the helpful functions of Grammarly and Squarespace.”

Rob Speed is a sophomore communications major and the head of satire for the Triangle.