From tomorrow, videos on RPS will autoplay as you scroll down to them in an article. They will play without sound. I know many of you won’t like this change, but let’s talk about why it’s happening.
First of all: we don’t like this change either. We have resisted introducing autoplay videos for years, but we’ve reached the point where that’s no longer possible. Advertisers are telling us that they need “pre-roll” video ads – adverts that play before the video begins – as part of their advertising campaigns. We are unable to fulfill that need without autoplaying video. Rock Paper Shotgun has always been dependent on advertising to fund our work, and that’s still true now. This is also the reason why you see autoplay videos across a lot of the rest of the internet, including most of our competitors.
We are working as best we can to make sure that every video you see is relevant to the article you’re reading. In some cases, the video will be a trailer for the game the article is about, and in many cases the video will be our own original work. Our ultimate aim is that you want to click play on those videos to watch them because they’re useful and entertaining.
How does this affect Supporters?
By paying to become an RPS Supporter, you get an ad-free version of the site. This includes no video ads and no autoplay on videos. You’re also helping to support the site directly in a way that makes us less dependent on advertisers.
We’re currently working behind the scenes on improving the supporter program, and it’s going to be more of a focus for us in 2021. If you’re already a supporter, thank you – it truly helps.
When a YouTube video loads on a page, it drops a cookie on your computer. Our interpretation of regulations regarding cookies in the EU and other territories is that we need your permission before we can do that. I know that this affects your browsing experience without cookies, but hope you’ll trust us when I say that it’s done in an attempt to respect your privacy.
If you’re a supporter, you’ll still see this message and will need to accept cookies to see videos, but you should otherwise continue to have a cookie and tracker-free browsing experience. I’m sorry for the inconvenience and hope to have a better solution for supporters soon.
I hope this post helps you to understand why this change is happening, but if you have more questions, leave it in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I’m able.