Unskippable Ads from YouTube may be Unstoppable!

Published: May 18, 2023

min read

At the YouTube Brandcast event on Wednesday, YouTube announced that it was going to add 30-second unskippable ads to top-performing content watched on connected TVs. And TV advertisers now have a new commercial ad canvas to play with and build their campaigns on.

This new ad format comes from the pioneer of the skippable ads unit – where viewers can click away from ads, if they so desired! YouTube is aware that viewers really hate being interrupted while watching videos. And by being sensitive to the sensibilities of viewers who get irritated when there are ad interruptions while they watched a show, they introduced skippable ads.

Now the unskippable kind is here! A first for YouTube!

YouTube has added these 30-second non-skips on connected TVs. Longer 30second ads will appear instead of two 15-second spots on YouTube Select, which is a curated advertising platform that targets only the top five percent of YouTube content.

YouTube is now trying to position itself as a streaming TV play for major brands, and is now offering a 30-second spot that viewers cannot skip!

We think 30-second ads are a staple of the TV industry.

Sean Downey,

President of Google’s ads business in the Americas.

According to YouTube, about 70 percent of YouTube Select impressions come from TVs, making it the ideal platform for longer ads.

This comes close at the heels of the recent announcement from YouTube that it was cracking down on ad blockers on the video hosting platform with pop-up messages that state “Ad blockers are not allowed on YouTube.” This is a bid to encourage viewers to subscribe to YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience.

These 30-second ads play only on a TV screen - the YouTube website or app won’t have them.

Along with this, YouTube has also announced the launch of ads that will appear on paused videos.

Unstoppable Marketers with Unskippable ads

YouTube is a great place for marketers to be. First of all, since YouTube is Google’s own, you will be found on Google straightaway.

Marketers are able to expose their brands in front of a whole new large audience. Video-streaming platforms such as YouTube are a great platform for brands to be at and in this case, since these unskippable ads will be only on the best YouTube content, it really pays to be there. This is a new opportunity for brands and marketers to work with – and since viewers can’t skip your ads, you have a captive audience.

Since YouTube is trying to re-position itself as more of a streaming TV player rather than a carrier of short-form videos, and viewers of streaming TV are used to the whole idea of longer 30-second ads, this is actually a great fit.

For the longest time now, YouTube has been pitching to advertisers that it had this great mix of content from creators, user-generated videos and premium publishers that post their material. YouTube has been saying that all this make it a great advertising landscape that is equal to and on par with TV itself – which not all brands concur with.

Which is why YouTube has gone this route – as more and more people have started to stream content onto their TVs – and has positioned itself as a streaming TV player, and announced on its Brandcast that it has 150 million monthly viewers who use TV screens.

It might be good for brands to quickly jump on this bandwagon – for two reasons. One is that viewers will be comfortable with this kind of long ad format, as is the case with usual TV viewing.

Second - since the whole idea is new and viewers wouldn’t know how to deal with this ‘intrusion’, they will be forced to watch it. They wouldn’t have even had the time to figure some hack to ignore the ads – so now is a great time to get onboard this particular ship and put your brand in front of a large number of people.


Pete Johnson

Pete is a MarTech expert guru with a knack for getting diverse MarTech solutions work for brands. He has a wealth of experience in working with a plethora of MarTech platforms that dive Personalized Omnichannel Experiences. When he's not at work, you can find him playing basketball or listening to jazz.


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