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Attention Advertisers: YouTube's Non-Skippable 30-Second TV Ads Are Here!


A person holding a phone with the YouTube logo on it

During YouTube's annual YouTube Brandcast upfront event in New York, the platform announced a new ad offering aimed at appealing to TV ad buyers. As part of this offering, YouTube will introduce 30-second unskippable ads on connected TVs, replacing the current two consecutive 15-second ads that run when advertisers target top videos through the YouTube Select program.


YouTube Select which was launched in 2020, is designed to meet the needs of marketers seeking high-performing and brand-safe video content. This program provides advertisers with access to a curated selection of creators and publishers across various categories such as music, sports, gaming, food, entertainment, and technology.


According to internal data, YouTube Select has achieved significant success, with over 70% of impressions now being delivered on TV screens. This indicates the platform's increasing focus on capturing viewers' attention through connected TVs and delivering targeted advertising content to enhance the overall user experience.


YouTube is introducing longer, 30-second ads as part of its ad targeting options for advertisers. This update allows advertisers to align their campaigns with their objectives and engage in "richer storytelling."


It eliminates the need for creating shorter content specifically for YouTube, as advertisers can repurpose their existing collateral.

A laptop with the Youtube homepage displayed on it

One of the key advantages of non-skippable 30-second TV ads is their ability to capture viewers' attention from the very beginning. YouTube believes that viewers watching on the big screen at home are more likely to be receptive to longer ads, as it is a common practice when watching traditional TV. Advertisers can now deliver their message uninterrupted and ensure higher engagement levels. Furthermore, the limited duration of these ads encourages advertisers to create concise and impactful content, making it easier for viewers to remember the key brand messages.


As mentioned on Variety, according to YouTube CEO Neal Mohan, there has been a significant change in how people consume video content, with an increasing number of viewers watching YouTube on their home's largest screen. Mohan referred to this shift as a "seismic shift" and highlighted that viewers, particularly younger ones, no longer differentiate between the types of content they watch. When viewers turn on their TVs, they seek a comprehensive experience that encompasses everything they love, including their favorite creators, blockbuster movies, and even football. YouTube aims to fulfill this demand by offering a wide range of content on a single platform.


In addition to longer ads, YouTube is also introducing "Pause" ads on Connected TV devices. This new feature enables advertisers to showcase their brand when a video is paused, providing additional visibility and engagement opportunities.


YouTube's recent updates to its ad experience follow a Nielsen report revealing that YouTube was the only streaming service in the U.S. experiencing growth in viewing time. While other streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Prime Video, Peacock, and Hulu either declined or remained stagnant, YouTube's viewing time increased by 1.5% from March 27 to April 30, 2023.


In its pursuit of TV ad revenue, YouTube has actively participated in TV upfronts and digital NewFronts, alongside other tech giants such as Meta and Snap. This strategy allows YouTube to potentially charge TV ad prices, which aligns with the fact that nearly half of YouTube's U.S. viewership now occurs on TVs. This shift towards TV screens presents an opportunity for YouTube to capture a larger share of the advertising market and cater to advertisers seeking TV-like engagement on digital platforms.


During the Brandcast event, YouTube also revealed that it has reached over 150 million individuals on connected TVs in the U.S. in the previous month, including viewership on YouTube TV. In addition to the introduction of unskippable and pause ads, YouTube announced upcoming opportunities for advertisers to target football fans across its NFL content. This includes live games on YouTube TV and Primetime Channels, as well as highlights, post-game commentary, and related content. Furthermore, as part of its partnership with the NFL, YouTube will launch a new original Shorts series on the NFL's YouTube channel after the football season commences, called "NFL Creator of the Week."


YouTube also emphasized its AI capabilities, highlighting that Google AI can assist advertisers in determining the optimal mix of ad formats to achieve their campaign objectives and offering various other AI-driven features.




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