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YouTube Trains You Like Pavlov’s Dog With New Sound Effect

Yes, the sound is real, but you'll tune it out soon enough.

YouTube App on a big screen Smart TV.
A. Aleksandravicius/Shutterstock.com

If you’ve subscribed to Netflix for years, you know the “ta-dum” sound effect when you launch the app. Well, now YouTube wants in on that action. The company recently introduced its own sounders into the YouTube experience, but it’s thrown some people off because they didn’t know what was happening.

Luckily, your questions are now answered because the company made a blog post detailing all the elements that went into the new launch sounder. In the post, YouTube’s Andrew Lebov explains that the effect needed four ingredients to make it unique to the service: Human, Connected, Expressive, and Story-driven. He then explained how sound engineers from Antfood brought those elements to life.

Adding a sounder to YouTube’s launch makes a lot of sense, branding-wise. When you hear a consistent sound when you begin any repeated task, it wires itself in your brain, and you’re psychology prepped for what’s about to happen. That’s why you knew precisely what I meant earlier when I used “Netflix” and “ta-dum” in the same sentence. You actually heard the Netflix sounder in your mind. And if you fired up Netflix and didn’t hear that sound, you’d be slightly put off. You may not notice, but your brain will.

It’s also quite like what Audible does when it plays the sounder at the end of an audiobook: “Audible hopes you have enjoyed this program.” I’ve heard that sounder so often over the years that when I finish an audiobook on a different platform and don’t hear the sound, I feel strangely unsatisfied.

These sounds are part and parcel of classic animal conditioning. In his famous experiment, Russian physiologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov accidentally discovered the technique by ringing a bell whenever he fed a dog. After a while, the dog would salivate whenever it heard the bell because it knew food was on the way. The same concept applies to human brains and these sound effects.

So, if you’ve been wondering what those sound effects were the past few days, don’t worry, your brain will soon associate them with YouTube, and you’ll be mentally prepped to watch videos without even knowing.

Source: YouTube Blog

Danny Chadwick Danny Chadwick
Danny has been a technology journalist since 2008. He served as senior writer, as well as multimedia and home improvement editor at Top Ten Reviews until 2019. Since then, he has been a freelance contributor to Lifewire and ghostwriter for Fit Small Business. His work has also appeared on Laptop Mag, Tom’s Guide, and business.com. Read Full Bio »