YouTube’s move to no longer support 30-second ads that users can’t skip, highlights how the channel is moving away from its focus on attracting TV budgets, to up competition with Facebook and other online video sites.
In a statement Google says it is committed to providing a better ad experience for users online and that the change will not affect shorter ads.
“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,” a spokesperson explains.
YouTube will continue to offer unskippable shorter form ads but the focus will be on ads of six seconds.
It starts to make YouTube even more compelling and strengthens their proposition.
Peter Markey, Aviva
Aviva’s marketing director, Peter Markey, thinks the move will be a positive thing for brands who will benefit from a focus on new creative storytelling formats.
“It starts to make YouTube even more compelling and strengthens their proposition,” he tells Marketing Week.
“And anything that makes the platform more effective for brands is a good thing for everyone, for brands, users and for YouTube too.”
He says marketers should focus on the right execution of their product on the different channels. Taking Aviva as an example, Markey says the firm doesn’t talk about car insurance but how to make the UK roads safer.
“In terms of execution, we’ve found an equal measure of humour, and challenge with edginess, have been effective in driving view through, recall and ultimately behavior change,” he explains.
However, Markey warns that in the short term the move away from 30-second ads may mean a drop off in usage for YouTube for some brands, while they ready copy that is suitable.
The decision comes a bit late. Google’s YouTube is increasingly under pressure from Facebook in the video space.
Thomas Husson, Forrester
Brands need to create for specific platforms, something Nestlé highlighted at Dmexco ad tech conference last year, when it said putting TV ads online don’t work. The brand’s head of marketing and consumer communications, Tom Buday, said it was taking a “test and learn approach” to find out what works and to share this across all its brands so it does not “repeat mistakes and can replicate success”.
Thomas Husson an analyst at research firm Forrester, agrees that the challenge for Google is tapping into these big TV budgets and that the move is the right one, though it has been a long time coming.
“The decision comes a bit late. Google’s YouTube is increasingly under pressure from Facebook in the video space,” Husson says.
Despite its timing Husson says customers will welcome the control of being able to skip 30-second ads and marketers will benefit from the “shorter and more powerful” formats. He says the move means marketers will have to invest in new ad formats and adjust their storytelling to account for the silent mobile environment.