YouTube TV is Working on Improving Its Ads


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Ever run into an ad block on YouTube TV that is just a blank screen or just an image on the screen that says commercial break? (ESPN is the most notorious channel for having blank ad breaks.) Now YouTube TV has announced that they are working on dynamic ad insertions to fix this issue.

With dynamic ads, YouTube sells the ads and airs it during specific ad blocks reserved for YouTube TV. Most ads are sold by the network, but some ads are sold by the TV provider. When the TV provider has no ads to place in that spot you sometimes see a stock PSA ad from the government for example or nothing will play and a place holder screen is shown. Now YouTube TV is working on placing ads in these spots to generate more revenue.

In a statement on Reddit a confirmed YouTube TV Engineer said:

Hi – we’re launching some dynamic ad insertion where we’re placing our own ads in commercial breaks (instead of having blank slates like the notorious ESPN one). On DVR these should still be fast-forwardable (just like burned in ads were) though.

What does this mean for the end user? It is very likely that dynamic targeted ads will help keep prices low. At $40 a month, there is not a lot of profit in YouTube TV. By using targeted ads YouTube TV can raise more revenue to keep its price low.

Sling TV and other services already offer dynamic ads. Sling TV recently announced that they dynamic ad tripled in 2018 as part of targeted ads. Unlike cable TV that shows everyone the same ads, streaming allows companies like Sling and YouTube TV to offer ads targeted at viewers.

“Targeted addressable advertising continues to grow, and we’ve delivered more than 1.3 billon cross-platform addressable impressions in the last year,” said Kevin Arrix, DISH Media senior vice president. “We think of cross-platform a bit differently than some in the industry. Cross-platform across DISH and Sling is about your ad appearing during premium content on the largest screen in the house, extending the audience footprint with more eyeballs and more households, leading to more customers for a brand.”

For now, it looks like YouTube TV is just rolling out these ads. Keep an eye out for fewer ad breaks that show nothing.

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