YouTube brings 30-second unskippable ads to TV

Watching YouTube on your TV is about to get more frustrating if you don’t pay to avoid ads. As announced at the YouTube Brandcast event on Wednesday, YouTube will soon add 30-second non-skippable ads to top-performing content viewed on connected TVs.

YouTube says viewers will see a single 30-second ad instead of two consecutive 15-second ads, but that doesn’t mean the shorter ads will disappear entirely. 30-second ads will be available to advertisers via YouTube Select, a curated advertising platform that targets the top five percent of YouTube content. YouTube claims that 70 percent of YouTube Select views come from TVs, making it the ideal platform for longer ads.

YouTube is also testing ads that appear on paused videos

“More and more, viewers are viewing YouTube on the biggest screen in their home,” YouTube CEO Neal Mohan said at the Brandcast event (viewed via Variety). “Viewers — especially younger viewers — no longer differentiate between the kinds of content they watch.”

YouTube also announced that it will begin testing ads that appear when the viewer pauses a video on a connected TV. It’s similar to the pause ad feature launched by Hulu a few years back, and has been dubbed “pause experiences” by YouTube. Judging by the example image published by AdWeekYouTube’s intermission ads will appear as a banner around the video and can be removed by selecting the “dismiss” button.

YouTube hasn’t said when any of these changes — 30-second non-skippable ads and break ads — will roll out, but we’ve reached out for details and will update if we hear back.

Yesterday’s announcements follow a recent attack on ad blockers from the video hosting platform. Last week, YouTube revealed that it is experimenting with pop-up messages that say “Ad blockers are not allowed on YouTube” and encourage viewers to instead subscribe to YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience.

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