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YouTube Is Getting Rid of Unskippable 30-Second Ads

Variety logo Variety 2/17/2017 Janko Roettgers
© Provided by Variety

YouTube is killing one of its more obstrusive ad formats: The Google-owned video service said Friday that it was going to phase out unskippable 30-second preroll ads by next year.

British advertising magazine Campaign was first to report the news Friday, noting that the site would still offer shorter preroll ads that can’t be skipped by viewers. These include 20-second ad clips, as well as a six-second bumper ad format that YouTube introduced about a year ago.

A YouTube spokesperson confirmed the move when contacted by Variety with the following statement:

“We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. 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.”

YouTube has long offered skippable ad formats, dubbed TrueView. Advertisers only have to pay for these ads if a viewer doesn’t skip them, which allows YouTube to charge higher rates. TrueView ads also don’t come with time limits, so advertisers can decide to make them as long as they want.

YouTube’s move away from longer unskippable ad formats also is an answer to the growing popularity of mobile video viewing. More than 50 percent of YouTube’s video views now come from mobile devices, and the service specifically referenced mobile viewing as its primary reason for introducing its six second bumper ads last year.

“Bumper ads are ideal for driving incremental reach and frequency, especially on mobile, where ‘snackable videos’ perform well,” said video ads product manager Zach Lupei at the time.

Update: 11:08am: This post was updated with a statement from YouTube.

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