YouTube recently announced its new(ish) TrueView ad system, which allows visitors to skip ads they’re not interested in. Specifically, “viewers can choose to skip a video ad after 5 seconds, and you only pay when the viewer has watched the full ad or 30 seconds, whichever is shorter.” (source: Google AdWords) View-through rates during the testing phase were between 20-70%.
Some in the ad community are happy with this trend as it allows them only to pay for those ads viewed. (That assumes consumers are watching and aren’t in the middle of multi-tasking when the ad is running – but that’s always been an issue.)
In the online world, pay-per-click has been around since the mid-1990s. The fact that this could be done for video and have appeal shouldn’t be a surprise.
With YouTube in particular, advertisers have been creating and posting special videos for quite some time, hoping a message goes viral. So this isn’t a passive ad placement channel to begin with.
However, I’m not sure how YouTube’s new system would translate to less video-intensive sites. Maybe the “choose one of three ads” approach, an option we’re seeing on several other sites, will become the better ad model for those outlets. It requires some captive attention and, by picking, consumers might be more likely to view the ad in this setting vs. the way video ads are run today.