YouTube Nixes 30-Second Unskippable Ads As Mobile Video Views Skyrocket

YouTube confirmed Friday that it will stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018, to focus on more engaging commercial formats.

“We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online," a YouTube spokesperson wrote in an email to Search Marketing Daily. "As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers." 

It's not clear whether YouTube made the decision to stop supporting the ads after running tests on viewing habits that would suggest 30-second ads are just too long and individuals tend to click the browser closed rather than wade through to the end of the ad. It may be that YouTube will support shorter, non-skippable in-stream video ads that appear pre-, mid-, or post-roll in shorter increments such as 10, 15, or 20 seconds.

Mobile video traffic accounted for 60% of total mobile data traffic in 2016, and now accounts for more than half of all mobile data traffic, according to Cisco. Some 78% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2021.

Shorter ads seem to improve product recall, especially when combined with TrueView or Google Preferred campaigns. In April 2016, Google announced Bumper ads, a six-second video format, sold through the AdWords auction on a CPM basis.

For advertisers, the ability to stream videos more effectively is very important, Thomas Burnett, director of service provider marketing and thought leadership at Cisco, wrote earlier in an email to Search Marketing Daily.

For Google, "efficiently" likely means faster streams with short intervals that won't interrupt the viewing experience. No doubt the company ran tests to determine the exact amount of time that viewers will tolerate.

The online media publication Campaign, which first reported the news, suggests that YouTube will make use of six-second unskippable video ads instead.

3 comments about "YouTube Nixes 30-Second Unskippable Ads As Mobile Video Views Skyrocket".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, February 20, 2017 at 8:50 a.m.

    The reality is that people need/want/expect to skip ads. A darker reality is there is no such animal as an engaging interruption. If rude messages burst your reverie, it matters not how clever they are. You may interrupt me to relay that my house is on fire, but otherwise, just go away.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 20, 2017 at 5:27 p.m.

    While YouTube is, no doubt, correct in claiming that its audience lacks the patience and/or willingness to watch 30-second TV commercials, hence it's claim that shorter units are more effective---but mainly in the YouTube viewing environment. Fair enough. However, what this really means is that YoyTube and other digital ad sellers ---especially those with a great deal of their audience generated by smartphones----who go down this route are conceding "linear TV's" supremacy as the primary communications platform for branding advertisers, with digital and its short attention span audience relegated mainly to reminder efforts using short commercials and highly targeted ad campaigns to small, selective constituencies. And Douglas, it's not true that everybody diesn't watch or read or listen to ads. Sure, there are some chronic avoiders who proudly claim that they never see ads---though the average avoider is quick to cite a host of annoying or "stupid" commercials---that he/she never sees. Just ask them.

  3. Hawser Inboxes from Hawser Inboxes replied, February 21, 2017 at 10:49 a.m.

    Agreed Douglass Ferguson! Mind if we borrow the phrase: "there's no such animal as an engaging interruption." ?

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