At YouTube, we’re on a constant quest to give people the perfect viewing experience. But over the years, what that looks like has changed significantly.
The way we watch video is always changing. And we want to keep advertisers abreast of these trends, with new ad experiences molded to the new ways people watch. This was the spirit behind our introduction of six-second bumper ads more than two years ago–as a response to the increasingly mobile habits of our users.
Today we’re highlighting how we’re adapting to three new trends in the user experience.
Longer viewing sessions
Our recent user experience research suggests that in addition to factors such as the length of ads, viewers are quite sensitive to the frequency of ad breaks, especially during longer viewing sessions. Through this research, we also learned that fewer interruptions is correlated with better user metrics, including less abandonment of content and higher rates of ad viewing. To respond to this, we will begin testing ad pods–two ads stacked back to back, where viewers have the option to skip directly to the content if it’s not the right ad for them.
Why does this solution make sense? Because when users see two ads in a break, they’re less likely to be interrupted by ads later. In fact, those users will experience up to 40 percent fewer interruptions by ads in the session.1 Early experiment results also show an 8-11 percent increase in unique reach and a 5-10 percent increase in frequency for advertisers, with no impact to Brand Lift metrics.2 This new experience, launching on desktop this year then followed by mobile and TV screens, aims to accommodate viewer preferences while continuing to help advertisers connect with their most important audiences.