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.