User-uploaded content hosting sites like YouTube are an advertiser’s dream. These companies grow at whatever pace the public wants, and fortunately the public continues to enjoy user-generated content—whether original or just sharing of other properties. And through all of that user-generated content, YouTube sells ad space to companies, ad space in the form of banner ads and, more often these days, 30 second ads before your content starts; 30-second ads that you cannot skip past.
And that can be frustrating for users, particularly those who are very used to this “on-demand” lifestyle. Thirty seconds, of course, is not a lot of time to wait to watch your content; then again, sometimes you have to watch an ad before you can see if the link you clicked is, in fact, what you were looking for in the first place.
But it looks like all that is about to change. Apparently, YouTube is doing away with those snippet ads for good. And the change will come as early as next year. This Friday, the Google-owned user video site announced a plan to no longer offer 30-second “pre-roll” ad format with a “skip” button. There will still be some 15- and 20-second ads (with no skip button, though); these ads will actually stream within the videos.
According to a YouTube spokesperson, “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.”
The change comes as Google moves forward on its mission to create a more user-friendly ad experience in the YouTube platform, as competition continues to grow from sites like Facebook and SnapChat.
Mobile video traffic accounted for approximately 60 percent of the total mobile data traffic 2016. It now accounts for at least half (if not, more) of all mobile data traffic in the world and, according to Cisco, could account for 78 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic by 2021. That, of course, lends to users desiring shorter ads (or none at all) but marketers wanting as many ads as possible.
Now, you may recall that YouTube (Google) rolled out a new “ultra-compact” six-second “bumper ad” concept last spring so it looks like the transition had already begun. However, with this announcement, we are going to see a massive devaluation of the company’s remaining 30-second ad offering, particularly since surveys already tell us that 90 percent of users will definitely skip an ad of that length if given the choice.