According to an announcement made by YouTube, users will be able to skip ads if they find them not interesting or relevant. However, only about half of all ads on the video platform will be skippable.
The skippable ads, or the In-stream format, were first introduced in December, with users given the chance to skip an ad after five seconds of playing. The format was set on a cost-per-view basis, meaning that advertisers pay only in case at least 30 seconds are viewed.
According to YouTube data, In-stream ads engage consumers four times more than non-skippable ads do. Currently YouTube, in partnership with Google Display Network, is working on the integration of the In-Stream format in all video content.
In August, the video platform launched the In-Slate format in the UK. It gives users a choice between several ads from various companies and is designed for shorter videos only.
With the introduction of Google AdWords for video, which is currently running in beta stage, YouTube hopes that more brands will start advertising in the new formats. This feature allows the creation of marketing campaigns on Google Display Network and YouTube, using the same Ad Words for search, display and mobile ads.
Brands like Vodafone, Mikado and Twinings have already taken advantage of the new formats and options for advertising and there is a tendency for an increase in brand interest.
Bettering the experience for visitors is essential, but better audience targeting will always ensure deeper cut through. The question surrounding skippable video content will be based on performance and response. Will the medium be better for building brands or driving promotion based response mechanisms. Presently, when accounting for production value, it is very difficult to justify media spend into online video, which is why media agencies regularly plan it as an addition to TV campaigns.