YouTube Is Scrapping 30-Second Unskippable Ads In 2018

February 17, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

YouTube will scrap the 30-second unskippable ads that its online video service is currently supporting, a Google spokesperson revealed on Friday. The short statement given by Google said how YouTube is now looking to put a larger focus on ads that both users and advertisers find acceptable. This includes the 20-second unskippable ads that YouTube is currently supporting and will apparently continue to support in the future. Furthermore, YouTube is reportedly looking to do a more aggressive job of promoting the so-called bumper ads, six-second unskippable ads that the service introduced last spring. While originally designed for mobile viewers, bumper ads are expected to be extended to all YouTube formats come next year. The wording of the statement implies that YouTube’s 30-second unskippable ads will be scrapped as soon as this year comes to a close.

This announcement corresponds with what YouTube said back in January when the company unveiled a set of more robust tools for advertisers. On that occasion, Director of YouTube Product Management Diya Jolly said how the company is looking to change its ads with the goal of improving the overall user experience of its online video service while also providing its clients with more efficient methods of advertising. Andrew Peake, Managing Director of digital marketing agency VCCP said that YouTube’s decision to scrap 30-second unskippable ads seems like a logical move seeing how the average consumer isn’t a fan of this format. Peake also added how talented advertisers capable of capturing their audience from the very start shouldn’t find any issues with the fact that they’ll no longer be able to force YouTube users from watching 30 seconds of their promotional work. Naturally, it’s hard to estimate whether that format was even effective and is YouTube perhaps scrapping it because it wasn’t. Nonetheless, the newly announced change will likely improve the overall user experience of YouTube’s service.

Callum McCahon, Strategy Director of social media agency Born Social provided an interesting take on YouTube’s latest announcement. Namely, he believes that the company’s decision to scrap its 30-second unskippable ads shows how Google’s unit is actually afraid it will start losing advertisers to Facebook’s emerging video platform and is now trying to avoid that scenario by improving the user experience of its service to keep consumers and — consequently — large brands on YouTube.