YouTube runs skippable ads on mobiles

23/08/2012

YouTube has introduced skippable ads on its mobile site, letting viewers choose whether or not to watch a video ad, and only charges advertisers if the ad is watched. This type of ad, which YouTube calls TrueView, has been available on computers since late 2010. With TrueView, viewers can skip ads they don’t like after five seconds. Advertisers only pay if a viewer watches it for 30 seconds or completion, whichever comes first.

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YouTube believes such ads lead to better engagement, as Phil Farhi, the firm's group product manager, wrote in a blog post: “Hundreds of our advertisers are experiencing “buy one, get one free” -- for every view they pay for, they’re earning another one through sharing. This is because after a user watches a video ad, they can stick around to watch more content from that brand, visit their website, or share the video with friends. Many of you are seeing this in action today - TRX, for example, saw the greatest ROI from their TrueView campaign during their busy season promotions.”

YouTube also claims some advertisers have received a boost of 4% in their click-through-rates with TrueView.

On desktop computers, according to YouTube, between 15 percent and 45 percent of YouTube viewers generally choose to watch specific ads, and 65 percent of video ads shown before videos now offer the choice.

“It’s a much better user experience where the user actually feels in control of their advertising in the same way they feel in control of their content,” added Farhi, “And content creators are capable of earning more money in a more user-friendly format.”

The new type of ad joins other ads that YouTube offers for its mobile site, including banner ads shrunk for the mobile screen and promoted videos that show up in YouTube search results.

The launch of TrueView comes after YouTube introduced Promoted Video ads and In-Stream ads to mobile last November. The former are suggested videos that are based on a viewer’s searches. The latter are 15-second pre-roll ads.

Watch the YouTube TrueView user guide videos here:

Read the official blog post here

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