YouTube testing ‘fewer, longer ad breaks’ on TV


    YouTube is making a change to what ad controls Creators have while it’s testing some viewer-facing tweaks for the ad break experience on TVs.


    On the big screen, YouTube is “evaluating new options,” like “fewer, longer ad breaks,” when watching long-form content on television. The goal is to “minimize average interruptions for viewers” after research found that “79% of viewers would prefer video ads that are grouped together instead of distributed throughout a [longer] video.”

    Viewers expect a different ad experience depending on the content they are watching.

    Similarly, YouTube is making it easier to find out when ad break will end. Instead of the current indicator in the top-left corner, YouTube will soon test a circular countdown in the bottom-right corner. It will have some color instead of being black/gray and white, while the focus is not on how many ads but when it will end completely:

    Our research shows a majority of viewers prefer knowing the total time remaining in the ad break versus the number of ads being served.

    Meanwhile, the company says it is “simplifying” ad controls in YouTube Studio, arguing that “making individual selections was confusing for both newly monetizing and existing creators.”

    This means channels will no longer have the ability to turn on/off pre-roll, post-roll, skippable, or non-skippable ads individually. Instead, there will be a single “On” option for ads, with viewers seeing “any of these ad formats.”

    YouTube said, “More than 90% of videos had pre-roll, post-roll, skippable, and non-skippable ads turned on.”

    As we currently do today, YouTube will utilize many factors to determine when viewers will see these types of ads to both maximize revenue and ensure a positive viewing experience. These factors include the amount of time viewers are exposed to ads and the number of times an ad interrupts the video they’re watching.

    This change applies to newly uploaded long-form videos, as well as future edits to existing ones, and will go into effect over the “coming months.”

    Creators will “continue to have full control over mid-roll ads, being able to manually select ad breaks for mid-rolls or turn on automatic ad breaks.”

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