Select content will have unskippable 30-second ads.
While YouTube ads on phones and computers haven’t changed too much, those watching YouTube on a TV are in for some big changes. Announced during an advertiser event this week, Google confirmed that longer 30-second “unskippable” ads are returning to our TVs.
For those unaware, YouTube on TVs already displays 15-second ads frequently, and often, viewers will get two 15-second ads in a row. So technically, the length isn’t changing, but advertisers have more options to create impressionable advertisements.
According to the announcement, these newer 30-second ads will be available to advertisers via YouTube Selectwhich is YouTube’s platform for TVs that targets specific content. The company said that over 70% of those ads only hit TV apps, not phones, and TV users are already used to longer ads.
That’s not all, either. Google is also launching a new system it’ll call “pause experiences” with interactive ads. When viewers watch YouTube on a smart TV and hit pause, they’ll see fullscreen ads that are fun, highly visual, and potentially interactive with buttons, QR codes, and other ways to engage.
As a reminder, these changes are for those watching YouTube on TV apps, not the dedicated YouTube TV live streaming service. Those are two different things. Still, it’s interesting to see Google making significant changes to its most popular product.
Reading through the lines here, I feel like many of these changes are in preparation for the NFL Sunday Ticket coming to YouTube later this year for the 2023-24 season. Along with these longer ads, last week, we learned Google is running new tests to prevent ad blockers on YouTube.
When you consider that the search giant spent upwards of $2 billion for the NFL ticket, plus millions of people watch YouTube on TVs, improving the ad experience makes sense. We’re not sure when these changes will start rolling out, but I’m assuming it’ll be before the end of the summer.
In closing, those that don’t want ads can always sign up for YouTube Premium.