Just ask Facebook -- monetizing mobile phone content with advertising isn’t an easy proposition. Smartphone screens are small, limiting the variety of ad formats publishers can sell, and consumers tend to have less patience for ads on their phones as well.
Now that people are consuming nearly as much Web content on their phones and tablets as they do on their computers, someone needs to crack the mobile advertising code.
YouTube, Google’s online video behemoth, thinks it may have the answer -- at least where mobile video is concerned. On Wednesday, the video-sharing giant began offering its TrueView in-stream ad format -- which allows consumers to skip in-stream pre-roll ads and only charges advertisers for the ones that consumers actually watch -- to mobile devices.
Until now, the ads that played before mobile videos on the mobile YouTube site and in YouTube-powered apps like Vevo were traditional pre-rolls, meaning they could not be skipped. Starting today, all TrueView in-stream campaigns run on the AdWords For Video platform will be mobile-enabled.
Since the YouTube app for iOS 6 will no longer come pre-loaded on Apple devices (Note: Google was never able to sell ads on these apps at all), Apple users will have to download a new YouTube app being developed (and monetized) by Google.
Because mobile users are often on the go and pressed for time, Google execs believe that TrueView ads could be a perfect fit.
They are already very popular on computers. Skippable TrueView ads debuted on YouTube in late 2010; today, Google says that 65 percent of all ads that play before YouTube videos on computers are skippable, and that between 15 and 45 percent of YouTube viewers choose to watch them.