YouTube adding longer ad breaks for TV viewers, removing some creator ad control


YouTube app on phone

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Things are changing when it comes to YouTube advertisements, both for viewers and for creators.

If you watch a YouTube video over the next few weeks, you may notice longer ad breaks. That’s thanks to a new company policy rolling out soon. In a post on the official blog for YouTube, the video-sharing service said that “when it comes to long-form content on TV screens, 79% of viewers would prefer video ads that are grouped together instead of distributed throughout a video.” 

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Based on that feedback, YouTube says, it will be testing longer, but less frequent ad breaks. There will be a more visible indicator of how long an ad break will be, the company added. 

You’ll also begin seeing shoppable ads, or ads you can interact with while watching YouTube on your television — something that’s been present in mobile and desktop ads on the site for a while.

On the creative side, YouTube is taking away a little control from content creators, calling it “simplifying.” When you uploaded a video to the site before this change, you had a choice of turning on or off skippable, non-skippable, pre-video, and post-video advertisements.

Now, there’s simply an on/off switch for those ads as a whole. With that option enabled, YouTube decides when and where those ads are. If it’s disabled, there are no ads. Mid-video ads, and where they appear, are still at the discretion of the creator.

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YouTube noted that more than 90% of videos on the site already have all of those ads enabled, so this shouldn’t affect too many creators.  “This change is happening,” it said “in order to extend best practices within the creator community and optimize creator revenue.” The end goal is to help creators earn more, the blog said, while making the ad experience as simple as possible.

The change in policy applies to both existing and new videos on the platform. 


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