Skipping the Ads Away on YouTube

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youtube_small.jpgADOTAS – I recently got into an interesting discussion about pre-roll with the CEO of a targeting company dipping its toes into video advertising. While the public may love to bitch and moan about pre-roll, it’s generally accepted as the tradeoff for free video content. The bigger problem is the lack of ad inventory — what truly drives people nuts is watching the same 30-second spot again and again and again.

However, YouTube is threatening to knock the video advertising paradigm on its head by allowing viewers to skip over in-stream ads and choose their own pre-roll. I first heard mumblings TrueView’s skippable ads at a Google cookout focusing on display initiatives, but AdAge reveals that they’re shortly to come to the video-viewings masses.

During shorter content, users can skip through in-stream ads while longer-form videos will present viewers with the choice of one of three selectable ads viewed pre-video or ad breaks that may or may not have the skip option.

It’s a bold move, and both consumer- and advertiser-friendly — advertisers are not charged when users skip through videos and they can get a better sense of what campaigns are most appealing to certain audiences. Google will initially launch TrueView with managed accounts before unveiling them to all advertisers.

Is Google’s TrueView a sign of video advertising to come, or simply something the company can pull off because YouTube garners such a high share of video views?

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