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30-second unskippable ads are coming to YouTube on TV

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Unless you’re a Youtube Premium subscriber, watching Youtube on TV just became a bit more inconvenient as the streaming platform announced unskippable 30-second ads on top-performing content streamed on TVs. 

During its Youtube Broadcast event, the platform claimed that 70% of Youtube Select impressions came from TVs, meaning it’s the ideal platform for longer ads. That’s not to say that shorter ads are going away, but viewers will be seeing one long 30-second ad instead of two 15-second ones going forward. These newer, longer ads will be available to advertisers via Youtube Select. 

According to its announcement, Youtube thinks “that running longer-form creative on the big screen aligns with your objectives, and allows for richer storytelling”. The format also apparently “seamlessly fits” into what viewers already expect and experience on the big screen.

Youtube will also be testing ads that appear when the viewer pauses a video on a connected TV. Named “pause experiences”, the feature is very similar in concept to the pause ad feature rolled out by Hulu in 2019. In actual implementation, it seems like the video will shrink to reveal a banner ad around the video which can be removed using a ‘dismiss’ button as shown in an example image published by AdWeek.

The platform hasn’t announced when either of these changes will be rolling out at the moment. 

There has also been a crackdown on adblockers, with Youtube running an experiment where the site is blocking access to videos if it detects an active adblocker running in the user’s browser. All of this points towards Youtube trying to maximise its subscription revenue, even if it comes at the cost of user dissatisfaction. 

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: