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Three-quarters of YouTube viewers would visit the site less often if the video behemoth placed ads before clips, according to a poll.

YouTube founder Chad Hurley, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, told BBC News the site was mulling placing three-second commercials ahead of uploaded videos and sharing the revenue with producers.

But a new Harris poll of frequent YouTube users, released this week, says 42% would visit the site a little less often and 31% a lot less often - posing a problem for the network and new owner Google as they look to monetise some of the 65,000 videos uploaded every day and offset spiralling bandwidth costs.

The parent is currently trialling brief ads mid-way through clips on its Google Video site, but the two sites are to be kept separate.

The report is not the first to highlight the challenges online video sites are likely to face when it comes to advertising.

In a finding sure to prove challenging reading for old media bosses, it also showed 32% of the 2,309 adults polled watch less television because of YouTube.

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Published 31 January, 2007 by Robert Andrews

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