YouTube killing off ‘unskippable’ 30-second adverts soon

20 Feb 2017

YouTube. Image: Indypendenz/Shutterstock

YouTube is altering its advertising protocols, meaning 30-second videos that users cannot skip through will be gone next year.

Alphabet’s golden egg is changing how it makes money, as YouTube is planning to remove ‘unskippable’ ads that play before videos.


Alongside mobile search, YouTube was credited as a primary reason behind a 22pc Q4 growth at Alphabet last month, with the video stream giant continuing its utter domination of the genre.

However, it still needs tweaks, and first on the chopping block is 30-second ads, which provoke significant frustration among some users.

The company claims that it’s focusing on commercial formats that are more engaging for viewers, which, by extension, means the same for advertisers.

“We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. 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,” YouTube said.

However, 15- and 20-second videos in the unskippable realm will still remain.

All change

It’s a time of significant change at YouTube. Last month, it extended its mobile live streaming service to creators with 10,000 subscribers after a successful pilot last summer.

YouTube claims there are “hundreds of thousands” of such creators, with a general release due soon.

Another tweak is pushing better streaming quality across devices, something that would surely be a necessity for any success in this field.

A complementary tool called Super Chat was also created, as a way for creators to monetise their live stream.

Fans pay fees so that their feedback is more prominent and, theoretically, this encourages the creator to engage directly with them.

Big revenues

Revenues from Google accounted for the lion’s share of Alphabet’s Q4 performance, with revenues of $25.8bn up from $21.1bn a year ago.

“Our growth in the fourth quarter was exceptional – with revenues up 22pc year-on-year and 24pc on a constant currency basis,” said Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet.

“This performance was led by mobile search and YouTube. We’re seeing great momentum in Google’s newer investment areas and ongoing strong progress in Other Bets,” Porat added.

YouTube. Image: Indypendenz/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic