Google's YouTube plans to give viewers the option to skip video ads they don't want to view on their mobile device -- and advertisers another reason to consider multichannel campaigns.
The TrueView in-stream video ad format does not require advertisers to pay for the impression if the viewer skips the ad on mobile devices within the first five seconds. For smartphones, that can make sense.
The limited ad formats available to publishers on smaller screens can make it a difficult sell to brands without an incentive. The ad format, introduced in late 2010 for the desktop, requires 20 seconds of viewing on the desktop before brands pay.
Phil Farhi, group product manager, admits that YouTube just began testing TrueView on mobile, but early indications suggest people engage with these ads in the same way they do on the desktop. The ads are managed through AdWords for Video.
The launch of TrueView comes after YouTube introduced Promoted Video ads, tied to suggested videos based on a viewer's search, In-Stream ads and 15-second pre-rolls for mobile last year.
YouTube delivered 1.5 billion ads in July -- up from 1.4 billion in June and May -- and 1.3 billion in April, according to comScore. Overall, the research firm's online video viewing report reveals the number of video ads viewed in July fell to 9.6 billion from 11 billion, sequentially, the lowest amount of ads viewed since April. Analysts believe that summer travel schedules contributed to the slide.
Juniper Research estimates that the mobile market -- search and discovery -- will reach $15 billion by 2017.
YouTube also has been testing mutiscreen campaigns and found that brand recall improves when ads run across TV, PC, phone and tablet. In a study run by Nielsen, the findings from late 2011, Google found that when consumers were exposed to TV ads alone, 50% correctly attributed the ad to Volvo. For groups that saw the ad across all screens -- TV, PC, smartphone and tablet -- the brand recall jumped dramatically to 74%.