We’ve all been tricked by it. That one YouTube ad you think you can click “Skip Ad” on to get to the actual content you want to watch. So you click the little tab on the bottom right and realize it’s not a link and you’ll just have to sit through several more seconds before you can get to your actual video.
Well, for those of us frustrated with the unskippable ad, YouTube giving us some good news. They plan to get rid of 30-second-long unskippable ads by 2018 and help their users reduce their ad-time on the platform.
“We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online.” A YouTube spokesperson told Campaign in a statement. “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.”
This won’t mean all unskippable ads are going away. 15 and 20-second formats will still be around. And it’s likely we’ll see more of the unskippable 6-second “bumper ad” filling in the void left behind by the 30-second ad. And the ads that become skippable after 5 seconds will still be around as they are now.
“I’m reading this as a signal that YouTube is very worried about Facebook,” Callum McCahon, strategy director for Born Social, said to Campaign. “We know that video is right at the very core of Facebook’s roadmap. Their video offering is becoming ever more attractive to brands by the day, and YouTube is panicking.”
Unskippable ads were never popular with impatient consumers trying to get to the real video they came to watch. So it makes sense YouTube is showing some compromise by getting rid of the longest format of the bunch. It’s not an end to ads altogether but we’ll gladly take the few more seconds of free time.