Recently, YouTube said it will run two pre-roll ads instead of one in advance of many videos. Google’s new "ad pods” will allow for a commercial break with two messages.
Does this sound like “commercial pods” from traditional TV networks? Sort of. Will YouTube be telling marketers they have the “A” or “B” positions -- just like TV channels?
YouTube said it will not change overall advertising loads. Four ads can be shown in two breaks, instead of over four separate ads.So in effect, it's not an increase, although it might seem that way initially to consumers -- especially if those videos aren’t run to completion.
Digital video, including those traditional TV/media-owned OTT services, still generally run far less overall non-program TV content -- TV ad interruptions, program promos, local TV spots and PSAs -- during programming content. This remains good news.
This all comes as traditional TV platforms’ ad loads keep inching up, even as some TV network groups -- NBC, Turner, Viacom and others -- look to make some cutbacks in total advertising loads for selected networks and time periods.
But it doesn’t necessarily hurt consumer interest. Plenty of research shows TV consumers continue to seek free TV/video -- or digital platforms with small monthly fees -- to access their favorite TV and/or movie content in exchange for consumption of advertising.
For its part, YouTube says the new ad pods are intended to play more commercials in succession, while cutting down on the number of “interruptions” in the middle of videos.
We would love to see consumer marketing messages explaining all this. We also welcome any on-air messages from traditional TV networks for TV consumers -- telling them on a regular basis they’ll be seeing fewer commercials.
That's right -- airing TV commercials saying fewer TV commercials are coming. C’mon, there has to be some creative fun in that somewhere.