My stance on midroll ads, since apparently Northernlion and other Machinima channels suddenly got a bunch of midrolls ads added en-masse to their videos without their knowledge: midrolling should be up to the channel themselves and what they feel comfortable asking of their audience. If they ask too much, they will feel the sting of it, whether it be by losing earnings to adblocking or just having their audience go elsewhere.
Reasonable advertising is the fairest and most sustainable way to make sure the viewers don't have to pay for the content and the creator gets paid for their work as well as Youtube being compensated for the use of its servers, staff and bandwidth. Midrolling is something you have probably seen on my channel with Hearthstone videos and on my Starcraft channel. I run one midroll in an hour long Hearthstone video because I feel that is reasonable. Nobody has complained about it and it has made the series a very sustainable stream of revenue for me. I also midroll my Starcraft content, since this is often upwards of 2 hours long per video and the people watching it come from a culture where they end up seeing a lot of ads inbetween games anyway during tournaments, so have learned to accept that as the norm. I have also midrolled my two Q+A videos since they are about 3 hours long and the podcast is midrolled once per break for the same reason (resulting generally in 2 midrolls per show). I currently do not run midroll ads on lengthy WTF is videos, though I have considered doing so. For those wondering, midrolls are a significant boost to earnings, though in doing so you are asking more of your audience in support and potentially encouraging the use of adblocking software for those who decide they don't want to tolerate the interruptions.
I thoroughly condemn the idea that a network can and should force its channels to use midrolls, particularly when they are so obviously scattershot (Northernlion reported 9 midrolls during an hour long Isaac session, placed at seemingly random intervals, all done without his knowledge or consent). These actions are a sure-fire way to immolate all the good will and support that viewers give to their favourite channels. It's slash-and-burn tactics, get as much as you can, while you can and get out, leaving the land barren and burnt. Sane and reasonable ad-supported content is the way to go until Youtube elects to do some sort of ad-free subscription service, if they ever do. Ad-blocking is going to happen and the way to deal with that is NOT to punish those viewers who choose to support your content by watching ads, it is to educate people on the way that the business model works and push ad-blocking software providers to provide reasonable and clear white-listing options (which they are currently starting to do) to allow users to support the channels they like.
Shotgun midrolling like what Northernlion experienced is insanity and needs to not become a thing. I seriously doubt my network would do something that insane, but please keep an eye out for it on my channel and immediately notify me if you see large numbers of midrolls pop up for no reason on my content. I did not put them there and I'll react immediately to get them removed. I hope that the addition of those mid-rolls to people like Northernlion's content was made in error by the network and will be quickly resolved. Thanks for your support.