Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Longer ads on YouTube

Google plans to have longer ads, or at least longer ad breaks, on it's YouTube videos. And they're making out like it's good news.

Okay, in fairness, maybe it is. I mean, I don't think so, but maybe you'll like it.

According to a recent blog post, Google will have fewer ad breaks, but the ad breaks will be longer:

Viewers expect a different ad experience depending on the content they are watching. When it comes to long-form content on TV screens, 79% of viewers would prefer video ads that are grouped together instead of distributed throughout a video. Based on this preference, we are evaluating new options that minimize average interruptions for viewers, such as fewer, longer ad breaks, to create a more seamless viewing experience on the big screen.

Maybe that is good news. I mean, if you regularly skip the ads, and have to do that six times in a video, you'll now only have to do it three times, right?

Well, maybe it's not that simple.

Last year, we refreshed the ad experience as part of YouTube’s more modern look, and in May of this year, we announced CTV-first formats, including 30-second, non-skippable ads and Pause experiences. We also launched shoppable ads on CTV and an industry-first send-to-phone mechanism to allow people who use a second screen while watching TV — over 80% of viewers — to engage with ads.

Recently we’ve brought feed ads to the big screen, so viewers can interact with ads and take action while they’re streaming without interruption.

You saw that part about non-skippable ads, right? Now that doesn't mean that all ads will be unskippable. But it sure seems to me that more will be. If you find that to be a good thing, then yes, good news everyone. I'm not quite so happy about it.

Of course, I can pay for YouTube Premium and omit the ads entirely. I think Google probably makes more money from ads than they do for YouTube Premium subscriptions. If so, they want to minimize the number of people subscribing, but at the same time, keep that subscription revenue stream. They probably have enough information on everyone that they know how many ads they can play and maximize their income.

My Streaming Life can tolerate ads. Just how many, I'm not sure. I have a feeling I'm about to find out.

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