YouTube to phase out 30-second unskippable ads
6 March, 2017
A point of view by Naveen Iftekhar, Biddable Media Manager
YouTube parent Google has made the momentous decision to shift to shorter ad formats, intending to phase out its 30 second unskippable video pre-roll ads by 2018. The move is in line with Google looking to streamline and provide improved better experiences for both users and advertisers. In a piece published in Campaign, a Google spokesman commented:
“We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. 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.”
However on the flipside, Google is not getting rid of its 20-second or 6-second pre-roll formats just yet. Despite increasing attention being placed on the competition Google is facing from Facebook and Snapchat, Google’s own research has verified a few interesting myths.
The research established that longer ads do present an advantage. 30-second ads had the highest view-through rates whereas 15-second ads was skipped the most.
So why is Google getting rid of this format?
It just so happens that shorter videos are better for ad recall than longer formats. Furthermore, they enable a better viewing experience for the user by being half the length. With so much media focus placed on the shortened attention span amongst people (with the average now classed as 8 seconds), it doesn’t come as a shock that video ad length would ultimately be downsized.
From a paid media perspective, we believe that not much will change to the overall user experience. We say this because brands will still have the option to serve YouTube’s 15-second and 20-second unskippable ads and they will also have the option of the six-second bumper ads YouTube introduced last April, which users also cannot skip.
What brand advertisers need to start thinking of now is how they are going to leverage 15 and 20 second formats creatively. With the shorter formats, they would ideally not just need to think of content but also bear in mind the growing video consumption of an increasingly mobile-first audience and the creative opportunities and limitations these news formats provide.