YouTube and Pandora Radio Go Off-Key

Don’t get me wrong – I love watching trailers – just not when I’m trying to watch a music video.

I went on YouTube to see Mat Kearney’s “Closer to Love” for the first time, and it wasn’t a bad song. It might even grow on me, sneak up on me when I have a bad day. Plus, the video’s cinematography was just darling.

However, before the music video even started, an advertisement, passing as a trailer, started to play. It was only about 15 seconds, but it was for some horror movie I didn’t care for, and there was no option to stop playing it and just get on with what I really wanted to watch.

Previously, of course, there were no ads like that on YouTube. Then, came the pop-ups at the bottom of the screen, usually for iTunes music downloads, but at least those had the option for you to close them so you could view the actual video in all its glory. Now, viewers have to wait 15 seconds for some of their videos, in addition to the loading time.

On another note, did anyone else get that e-mail from Pandora Radio’s founder, Tim Westergren? Westergren delivered some bad news to die-hard music lovers.

Specifically, we are going to begin limiting listening to 40 hours per month on the web. Because we have to pay royalty fees per song and per listener, it makes very heavy listeners hard to support on advertising alone. Most listeners will never hit this cap, but it seems that you might.

He was quick to add that should you reach the 40-hour cap, you can pay $0.99 for unlimited listening that month. That way, it wouldn’t be like a subcription, per se, he wrote. He said that the fee would be on a month-to-month basis.

And if listeners feel like they can’t get enough, he added, they can always pay $36 a year for unlimited radio time with no ads. Hint, hint.

I realize that both YouTube and Pandora need to make money somehow, and even if they keep this up, I doubt it will stop most people from going to their sites. People will always love music – they just won’t always love music sites.

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