Google says it wants to provide a better advertising experience for users, and it is starting with YouTube—specifically one of the platform’s most annoying features: 30-second pre-video ads that cannot be skipped.
However, we’ll have to wait until next year.
“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,” a Google spokesman told Campaign.
30-second ads will still exist, of course. But anything 30 seconds or longer will be skippable. Anything below, including 20-second spots, can still be rendered unskippable by advertisers—so we expect that some companies may start choosing that length once the change comes into effect.
Google’s decision was certainly not to appease advertisers, but the company found too many users abandoned ads the moment they realized they were being forced to sit through a full half-minute ad to watch a single video, especially when many other social networks like Twitter and Facebook are entering the video content market with significantly less pre-roll advertising.