YouTube brings 30 second unskippable ads to TV

Watching YouTube on your TV is about to get more frustrating if you don’t pay to avoid ads. As announced at the YouTube Brandcast event on Wednesday, YouTube will soon be adding 30-second non-skippable ads to top-performing content viewed on connected TVs.

YouTube says viewers will see a single 30-second ad instead of two consecutive 15-second ads, though that doesn’t mean those shorter ads will disappear completely. 30-second ads are available to advertisers through YouTube Select, a managed advertising platform that targets the top five percent of YouTube content. YouTube claims that 70 percent of YouTube Select impressions come from TVs, making it the ideal platform for longer ads.

YouTube also tests ads that appear on paused videos

“More and more viewers are watching YouTube on the biggest screen in their homes,” said YouTube CEO Neal Mohan at the Brandcast event (viewable via Variety). “Viewers – especially younger viewers – no longer discriminate between the type of content they watch.”

YouTube also announced that it will test ads that appear when the viewer pauses a video on a connected TV. It’s similar to the pause ad feature rolled out by Hulu a few years ago and dubbed “pause experiences” by YouTube. Judging from the sample image published by Advertising WeekYouTube’s pause ads appear as a banner around the video and can be removed by clicking the ‘Decline’ button.

YouTube hasn’t said when any of these changes — 30-second non-skippable ads and intermission ads — will roll out, but we’ve been in touch for details and will update if we hear back.

Yesterday’s announcements follow a recent crackdown on ad blockers by the video hosting platform. Last week, YouTube revealed it’s experimenting with pop-up messages that say “Ad blockers are not allowed on YouTube,” encouraging viewers to subscribe to YouTube Premium instead for an ad-free experience.

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