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Ads during paused YouTube videos might soon be a reality

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YouTube, the world’s foremost online streaming and viewing platform, recently concluded testing of the ‘paused video ads’ feature, which allows users to see ads when they pause the video.

YouTube officially announced the concept of paused video ads in May 2023, introducing a new approach to display advertisements during video pausing, primarily on connected TV platforms. When a YouTube video is paused, an ad will appear next to the shrunken video.

Known as ‘paused experiences,’ this feature aims to deliver personalised ad content tailored to individual viewer profiles, enhancing ad revenue for the company.

While YouTube has not provided a definitive timeline for the public rollout of paused video ads, recent statements from Google’s executive leadership suggest an imminent launch. During an earnings call, Philipp Schindler, Google’s Chief Business Officer, highlighted the positive feedback from advertisers during the trial phase. He also said that advertisers have expressed enthusiasm for paused ads, recognising the potential to deliver strong results and command premium pricing.

YouTube’s ad revenue rose by almost 20% in Q1 2024, indicating that its efforts to combat ad blockers have been successful.

“In Q1, we saw strong traction from introducing a pause ads pilot on connected TVs, a new non-interruptive ad format that appears when users pause their organic content,” Schindler noted.

In May 2023, YouTube began a crackdown on adblockers while announcing that the streaming platform would be showing 30-second unskippable ads on TVs.

In April 2024, YouTube increased its efforts to combat third-party app blockers by displaying a message that reads, “The following content is not available on this app.” This move by the platform aims to encourage users to subscribe to YouTube Premium.

The usage of ad-blocking software is a challenge for YouTube, as it is constantly evolving. However, YouTube is taking steps to combat this issue, which seems to be working. In Q1 of 2023, the company experienced a 2.6% decline in ad revenue, but by Q1 of 2024, they managed to increase their ad revenue by approximately 20%.

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Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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