Pet Peeve #55: Video Ads on Internet Videos that Play Better than the Actual Videos

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That little circle in the middle means it’s time to refresh the page…again.

Picture me in front of my computer. I’m wearing pajama pants and a microfleece jacket that’s covered in cat hair. But that’s irrelevant. What’s important is my computer screen, where I’m visiting ESPN.com.

I click play on the main video, which features LeBron James scoring 61 points while wearing some kind of Hannibal Lector mask. I want to watch this video.

But before I can watch this video, I have to watch an ad. I don’t mind too much, because without ads, we probably wouldn’t have free videos online. I assume someone is clicking on these ads to pay for my videos, right?

So I press play, and within a millisecond the commercial is playing in full-HD with a thumping pop song in the background. It’s a commercial for either Verizon or Nissan (I find that the two have interchangeable commercials). I watch it for a second and then switch over to a different tab to figure out what I’m writing on the blog tonight.

As the commercial ends, the video changes to the actual video of LeBron…except, after 3 seconds, it freezes. I wait. Nothing. I click forward a few seconds. Nothing.

So I refresh the page and start over again. As soon as the page refreshes, the commercial comes back on, playing perfectly for the duration.

Does this happen to anyone else? The commercial plays smoothly, but the actual video freezes or won’t work at all? I find it comical.

I will say this: If I could pay a set fee to skip all internet commercials and jump right to videos that play smoothly every time, I would do so in a heartbeat. Or could I at least tell ESPN that I already have Statefarm insurance and don’t need to watch a dozen commercials telling me more about Statefarm?