Gong! YouTube adds skip button for pre-roll

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youtube_small.jpgADOTAS – When I go to watch a video online and the pre-roll video loads up, my eyes roll to the right-hand corner and follow the timer, sighing as every second clicks down and I can view what I set out to view. I accept the pre-roll as part of the trade-off for accessing free content, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. When I see a skip button, I give a little cheer.

Groans could be heard across the Internet when YouTube introduced pre-roll ads in front of popular videos early this year — a 2007 experiment with pre-roll produced clipm abandonment rates as high as 70%. But YouTube has just added a skip button on a limited, undisclosed number of vids.

So if you’re not digging a pre-roll — GONG — it’s gone.

The idea is that advertisers will only have to pay when viewers watch the whole ad — in other words, they engage with the viewers. Thus, the onus is shoved to the creatives to come up with something impatient viewers might actually enjoy watching for 15 seconds.

It’s a bit of an experiment, YouTube says on its biz blog. “We’ve learned from Promoted Videos that advertisers are often willing to pay more money for an engaged opt-in view, as opposed to a forced view like an in-stream ad, so this also has the potential to increase CPMs,” the blog reads.

Interesting — c’mon creatives, show us what you got. The gong mallet is ready to go.

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