Online advertising is always evolving and adapting to the latest publishing trends which, as of late, happens to be video. It’s no surprise, then, that one of the biggest online video players is making a significant change to perhaps its most despised ad type – the unskippable 30-second spot.
In a statement sent to several news outlets, a YouTube spokesperson notes that they are committed to providing a better ad experience for online users. As part of that, the spokesperson said, they’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and instead focus on formats that work better for both users and advertisers.
Phil Smith, director general of ISBA, tells Campaign that the industry needs to improve the user experience of online advertising and this is one step in the right direction. The move is based on consumer reaction, Smith said, who also applauds YouTube’s tactic of announcing it with enough notice to give advertisers and agencies time to adjust their plans.
Callum McCahon, strategy director for Born Social, tells the publication that he is reading the move as a signal that YouTube is very worried about Facebook. Video is right at the very core of Facebook’s roadmap, he said, adding that their offering is becoming even more attractive to brands by the day. This, he concludes, has YouTube panicking.
That said, other ads, like the 20-second spots, can also be made unskippable although it is believed that YouTube intends to more heavily push the six-second unskippable bumper ad format it introduced last year moving forward.