Google has announced that it will cease allowing 30-second unskippable preroll ads on YouTube videos from next year, reports Campaign.
Google explained that its aim is to provide a better advertising experience for online users. “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.”
While it’ll be great to lose the most unpopular ad format, it isn’t all good news …
Aside from having to wait until next year, Google says that 20-second non-skippable ads will continue, and it will also be making heavier use of so-called ‘bumper ads’: unskippable 6-second ads.
One industry insider speculated that the move is in response to increased video competition from Facebook.
“I’m reading this as a signal that YouTube is very worried about Facebook,” said Callum McCahon, strategy director for Born Social. “We know that video is right at the very core of Facebook’s roadmap. Their video offering is becoming ever more attractive to brands by the day, and YouTube is panicking.”
Personally, I’m waiting for the day when YouTube stops creators plastering massive annotations all over their videos to spam other content, but this is at least a step in the right direction.