Autoplay Youtube Videos Suck

by Small Business Planned

Looking to upset your readers? Then you need to set your website to autoplay YouTube videos.

If you’re thinking of setting your website’s video setting to autoplay don’t. You’ll be sacrificing readers. Having a video that automatically starts the moment a visitor arrives on your site is a bad idea.

Looking to autoplay youtube videos? Don't.

Looking to Autoplay YouTube Videos? Don't.

Do Not AutoPlay YouTube Videos on Your Website


1. The auto start videos act as an interruption, forcing your readers to make a decision that they may not be ready for. When your reader lands on your site for the first time, they’re trying to interpret your site’s purpose, navigation and reputation. This is a delicate phase. Kind of like a timid bird . If you spook the reader, by taking them outside their comfort zone, they are likely to retreat to the back button as quickly as possible. This is exacerbated by not being able to find a ‘stop video’ button.

2. Most videos have sound. Sometimes users are in an environment where they prefer that sounds weren’t playing. This could be at work or when someone is sleeping next to them. Imagine the users embarrassment when they load a site, and a video automatically starts bellowing: “I Can Tell You The Secret of Miracle Wealth!” You betcha the user is going to hit the back button in a flash

3. And each time the reader goes back to the home page, the video is going to begin loading again from the start. Repeating the first phrase ad nauseum for eternity. How annoying is that?

Advantages of Autoplay YouTube Videos

But ok, let’s look at the other side of the fence for a moment. Surely there are some advantages to using autoplay YouTube videos. These include:

1. Showing the world that you can code autoplay YouTube videos (Great article btw Brian)

2. Your video gets more views (whether it’s viewed to the end is another question)

3. You’re highlighting the content in the video. Effectively forcing engagement on your readers. Surely this has got to work for some readers?

    Hmmm… those advantages don’t really win the jam donuts.

    My advice is to happily feature your YouTube videos on your site, but let the user decide whether and when they want to play them. Don’t alienate your readers by forcing choice on them. When you force choice, people are inclined to retreat to the back button.

    Growing your small business,

    David Moloney


    (To help you maximise your business)

    15 Recommended Downloads for Small Business Owners

    10 Website Mistakes That Cost You Sales

    How to Get More Customers Contacting You Automatically

    [contact-form-7 id=3220 title=Under Post Newsletter]

    13 thoughts on “Autoplay Youtube Videos Suck

    1. Tania Shipman

      It’s always been something that can make me close a website when a youtube video starts playing immediately.

      Especially when I had download limits which meant my download was being used up for a video I might not even want to watch.

      Your advice is excellent for everyone who puts Youtube videos on their site.

      .-= Tania Shipman´s last blog ..HostGator Black Friday Sale 2010 =-.

    2. Bev Langford

      Hi David,

      Great post about autoplay youtube videos. I must admit that when I get to a site I want to look around and if there is a video I usually press play, but I find it really annoying when I’m trying to read and a video starts playing by itself. I sometimes look for the video to pause it, but if I can’t I will usually leave the page!

      Some excellent points about why auto youtube videos suck!
      .-= Bev Langford´s last blog ..Affiliate Article Marketing – Introduction =-.

    3. Dan

      Good article, I don’t like them either. There is a fine line with forcing content on people and a lot of people will bounce to a different site.

    4. Lisa Wood

      Very valued points there David. I actually close down a website if they do have a video that is on auto play – only because it is so annoying and due to our family using the computer so much each month the video usually can not load fully so it starts/stops/starts and there is nothing I can do if its on Auto Play….but hit that Red Cross Button – and never return to the site again.
      .-= Lisa Wood´s last blog ..Healthy Weight Loss Diary =-.

    5. Lina Nguyen

      Cool, thanks for sharing David. Just a tip: I know the phrase “autoplay youtube video” probably sounds really obvious and self-explanatory, but just a really short explanation of what that actually means would have helped me :). From reading your article, I gather it means a video that starts as soon as you visit the site, whether you choose to play it or not. Cool points you make :).
      .-= Lina Nguyen´s last blog ..Start A Blog – 10 Great Reasons To Do It =-.

    6. Jackie Stenhouse

      You are completely right about autoplay youtube videos suck. I am not impressed at all with websites that start blaring out at me as soon as I land on them. You have wonderful content on this site David and I always get something out of it. Thanks
      .-= Jackie Stenhouse´s last blog ..Infertility Treatments =-.

    7. Cade

      Your right David, autoplay youtube videos are annoying, they’re right up there with popup banner advertising. If I go to a site and a video starts playing when I don’t expect it, I will often click back.

      The only exception I would make is if I’m going to a sales page, I’d be interested to do some split testing to see if autoplay video on a sales page convert better or not…Interesting.
      .-= Cade´s last blog ..Learn How To Blog – “Sneak Peak” Review =-.

    8. Carolyn

      I usually open several sites at once, and then go through each one and read them. If some have autoplay videos going… most annoying, especially if there is more than 1!!! Then I go and close the intrusive windows, and read the rest.

      Obviously you’ve struck a cord here. More people should read this post!

    9. Concepcion

      Hi David Moloney I really enjoyed your informative blog post on Autoplay Youtube Videos Suck. Greetings I am so excited I found your website, I really found you by error, while I was looking on Digg for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a marvelous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design)


    Leave a Reply to Tania Shipman Cancel reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>