Some Mobile Users--A Lot of Them Actually --Will Watch An Ad They're Invited to Skip, YouTube Discovers

YouTube is finding that given a chance to opt out, mobile viewers are three times  more likely to watch a pre-roll, and click on it, than to skip it altogether.

That is what Neal Mohan, Google’s vice president of display advertising, said earlier this week at an Advertising Week event.

I suppose to the anyone who does a quick think on this, that seems like a preposterous claim. But in fact, he says that’s what YouTube is discovering with its TrueView mobile ads, which offers the option. The advertiser pays only if the user clicks on the ad.

There’s a certain logic in it. Asked to do something you don’t want to do—but just for a moment—is the kind of proposition people accept just about every day. It often leads to people doing something they didn’t plan for at all, for a good deal longer.   



Because the advertiser and YouTube is also armed with demographic information probably greatly increases the likelihood a YouTube viewer invited to watch an ad—or not—will opt in because the message stands a good chance of being relevant, and then a very good chance that the ad will lead them to interract for more information.

As other publishers have told me, YouTube invites—in fact, it almost pre-supposes—interaction. A user watches a series of short entertainments. So what to watch next? The opt-in premise of TrueView fits nicely with that mindset.

YouTube may be a great search engine but it’s also a diversion. Getting diverted by an advertisement that has some relevance seems to be a good environment. One quarter of YouTube’s views come through mobile devices.  

Advertisers only pay when their ads are seen. Presumably the advertiser or YouTube can figure out if a products or service is likely to elicit that kind of response. YouTube claims “some advertisers” get click through rates of up to 4%. YouTube doesn’t say this part but “some advertisers” is a rather malleable phrase. Some cars get 40 miles per gallon too.

As reported earlier, YouTube is now pushing TrueView with its gaming sites, for what would seem to be pretty obvious reasons. That’s a dedicated bunch of users, who always seem to be kicking the tires, to badly introduce a metaphor.

“In addition to its focus on viewability, which allows Google and the publishers in its network to charge higher CPMs based on whether an ad was actually seen, the introduction of TrueView into gaming also reflects Google's competition with Facebook on social and mobile advertising,” the Website reported.

Google’s Mohan earlier this week said 86% of YouTube's ad inventory are using TrueView ads, but that the real growth should be coming from 1 billion tablets that will be in use within the next three years.

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