Last year, YouTube tested running two ads back to back before the start of longer videos. Now it looks like this is standard on videos over five minutes in length. In the past, YouTube announced that they are testing two-ad blocks back to back, but it seems that this is part of the normal YouTube ad experience.
Here is what Google said about the two back-to-back ads when they announced the tests:
Through this research, we also learned that fewer interruptions is correlated with better user metrics, including less abandonment of content and higher rates of ad viewing. To respond to this, we will begin testing ad pods–two ads stacked back to back, where viewers have the option to skip directly to the content if it’s not the right ad for them.
Why does this solution make sense? Because when users see two ads in a break, they’re less likely to be interrupted by ads later. In fact, those users will experience up to 40 percent fewer interruptions by ads in the session.1 Early experiment results also show an 8-11 percent increase in unique reach and a 5-10 percent increase in frequency for advertisers, with no impact to Brand Lift metrics.2 This new experience, launching on desktop this year then followed by mobile and TV screens, aims to accommodate viewer preferences while continuing to help advertisers connect with their most important audiences.
Recently we have heard from a growing number of readers that back-to-back ad blocks are becoming common. When Google responds to people on Twitter about the back-to-back ad blocks, they no longer call it a test:
@teamyoutube Why are there 2 ads at the start of the video???
— CodeDinoe (Follow4FollowBack) (@CodeDinoe) June 1, 2019
Google has struggled with YouTube ads over the last few years. After several news stories broke about ads from major brands running next to questionable content many ad buyers backed out of YouTube. Now it seems that two back-to-back ad blocks is one way Google is trying to recover ad revenue that, according to some creators we have talked to, has never fully returned to levels seen before the ad apocalypse.
The good news is if you love YouTube but don’t want to see the ads, you could pay for YouTube Premium to remove most ads on YouTube videos.
Cord Cutters News has reached out to Google for comment and will update this story as we learn more.
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