What to do after YouTube nixes 30-second, nonskippable ads
Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Come 2018, the 30-second, nonskippable ads that play before YouTube videos will be gone. As you likely guessed, a primary reason for this change is to provide a better user experience.
YouTube users have long disliked lengthy, nonskippable ads. Google, which owns YouTube, confirmed this. A Google spokesperson told Campaign that YouTube is going to "focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers."
Another likely factor for the switch? More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices. When users watch on their phones, they're probably using mobile data, and a 30-second ad you must watch eats away at that data plan. As a result, users often abandon the video – and your ad – entirely.
In both these scenarios, your ad may be doing more harm than good. While you’re getting your message out, you may inadvertently be cultivating animosity or annoyance from users by forcing them to engage with your content.
While this switch may initially seem like a negative for your brand, embracing user-centric ad options will ultimately be a better long-term plan.
At this point, YouTube hasn’t announced exactly when in 2018 this change will happen. But as is typical, it’s best to stay ahead of the game.
Below are a few alternative YouTube ad options your brand should embrace instead of 30-second, nonskippable ads.
YouTube Ad Alternatives
6-second bumper ads: An ad format made specifically for mobile users! YouTube introduced these "snackable videos" last spring, and yes, the ads really are only 6-seconds.
So, many brands have chosen to create serialized content, where you explore one topic in multiple ads or create different versions riffing one format. These super-short ads actually work to your advantage, especially when combined with a TrueView or Google Preferred campaign. And because the ad is just as long as users’ attention span, viewers experienced a boost in recall, awareness and consideration.
15 to 20-second nonskippable ads: If your brand is set on sticking with nonskippable ads, the 15- to 20-second ad option is your best bet. In theory, you could shorten your 30-second ads to this new format and continue to get mileage out of them. While nonskippable ads may generate higher CPMs, these videos still have a higher abandonment rate.
Midroll ads: For YouTube videos over 15 minutes, you can insert ads midway through that function like television commercials. With these ads, it’s very likely you have users’ attention since they’re already invested in the video and want to see the end. With this option, you can create skippable or nonskippable ads.
YouTube TV ads: YouTube just launched their own subscription television service, called YouTube TV, that live streams about 40 networks for $35 a month. So, you can watch your favorite shows on networks like ABC, CBS or FOX while also catching sports games in real-time on ESPN.
Right now, these ads are still mainly controlled by TV networks. But, with YouTube now allowing advertisers to target ads based on people’s search history, it’s likely these ads will be customized as YouTube TV grows and evolves.
To see all your YouTube ad options, peruse the full list of options, which includes more traditional ad formats, like display or overlay advertisements.
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