YouTube adds unskippable 30-second ads making it no better than TV
During the YouTube Brandcast upfront, the company announced that it will introduce unskippable ads that run 30 seconds long.
The likes of YouTube and Netflix once held power over standard television viewing for one key reason – little to no ads. At the very least, YouTube’s advertisements were either short or skippable after a certain block of time.
Now both companies have reverted to the old-fashioned way of doing things. Netflix rolled out an ad-supported tier priced at $6.99 late last year, inviting advertisers to run 15- and 30-second promo videos during programs.
The premium streaming platform recently confirmed that nearly five million have subscribed to the ad-supported model. YouTube now serves as the latest streamer to revisit its advertisement-based approach.
YouTube announces plan to introduce unskippable 30-second ads
Variety reports that during the YouTube Brandcast upfront, executives announced unskippable 30-second ads will make their way to “top-performing YouTube content on TVs.”
The unskippable ads will appear in YouTube Select, which features the top 5% of the platform’s most-viewed content. YouTube has not yet specified when viewers can expect this shift to go into effect.
Google’s President of Ad Sales, Sean Downey, said the non-skippable ads will offer marketers “longer-form storytelling on those screens to build awareness and ROI for their brands.”
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And since YouTube already offers advertisers back-to-back 15-second unskippable ads, the Google executive argued this will mark “a seamless experience for viewers.”
The platform also intends to begin testing “Pause Experiences” for those who use YouTube on television screens. When users pause their TV during YouTube viewing, an ad will appear on screen – complete with a QR code allowing viewers to interact with the promoted brand. According to Downey, these particular advertisements will constitute “highly visual ads.”
Given YouTube’s incredible reach, a significant number of households will be affected by the changes. Nielsen estimates suggest the U.S. alone logged over 150 million unique users on televisions across YouTube and YouTube TV services in December 2022.