The good news is, YouTube isn't going to put those ridiculous bumper ads in front of clips you request—turns out 70% of people close the window and run screaming when they see those. The bad news is this: Today, YouTube starts overlaying 10-second ads on top of videos. You'll be able to click the X to close them, but probably not before you're totally peeved.
According to an AP story, advertisers in this lucrative program currently include Warner Music, 20th Century Fox and New Line Cinema. They'll be paying $20 per 1,000 clicks. The first videos to run the ads will be from artists signed to Warner, and from a totally horrible band I only just heard about called Killswitch Engage (wish it were literal). People who host videos on YouTube will be able to opt into the program, though it's not yet clear what the revenue share is between YouTube and the content owner.
Why is this happening? Because Google bought YouTube for $1.76 billion, and yet last year it only generated about $15 million. Chump change, as they say in Silicon Valley. [AP]