Feeds

YouTube tests skippable pre-roll ads

Behavioral lab rats wanted

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Google has begun testing pre-roll advertisements that users can freely skip in a select number of videos on YouTube.

For an indefinite period of time, a small sample of videos on the website will now include a "skip this ad" button that ditches the pre-roll pitch completely.

On the surface it seems a rather half-baked scheme on Google's part. After all, exactly who would choose to sit through a pre-roll ad when they could simply click through and get on with the show? Well, that's apparently exactly what the company is wondering too.

Google is using the test as an opportunity to gather user data that may lead to a new advertising model based on YouTube user behavior, similar to how pricing and placement is determined for search ads.

YouTube said past dabbling with in-stream ads as early as 2007 showed that as many as 70 per cent of viewers abandoned a video when confronted with long, non-skippable pre-roll commercials, according to the company biz blog.

Skip to my YouTube, my darlin'

However, additional research showed that a variety of factors could increase the number of those willing to see the ad through. If pre-rolls are kept down to only 15 seconds, for example, abandonment rates dropped down to as low as 15 per cent. YouTube said the quality and relevance of the ad also plays a major role in retaining viewers.

YouTube reckons that advertisers are often willing to pay more money for an "engaged" opt-in view, versus a forced view like an in-stream ad. Results of the test would be useful in launching a cost per action advertising scheme, where advertisers pay only for a completed view of the ad, but at an increased rate.

The data could also be used to establish a scaled pricing model based on whether Google thinks an ad is more likely to be viewed or skipped.

YouTube viewers, meanwhile, would have more control over what they watch. The plan is just crazy enough to work - but only assuming there's enough people out there who won't be temped to click "skip" every time. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire
Welcome to GOV.UK - digital by de ... FAULT
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.