YouTube Pitching Advertisers on Unskippable 30-Second Ads for TV Content

Todd Spangler, reporting for Variety:

YouTube’s biggest ad innovation for 2023? It might be borrowing a well-worn page from old-fashioned linear TV.

At the YouTube Brandcast upfront event Wednesday in New York, execs announced the introduction of 30-second unskippable ads in top-performing YouTube content on TVs — you know, just like the commercials that have run on broadcast and cable networks for decades. YouTube also will start testing new “Pause Experiences” for YouTube on TV screens, showing an ad when viewers pause a video akin to the pause ads Hulu first bowed four years ago.

I bring this up on my podcast often, but it never ceases to depress me that 20 years ago, when TV-watching first became computerized through DVRs like TiVo and ReplayTV, one of the primary selling points was the ability to fast-forward through commercials. Computers made watching TV not just a little better, but a lot better. That’s what computers can do. That’s why we love them.

Now though, in the streaming era, more and more we’re seeing streaming apps making commercials unskippable. They’re making TV watching not just worse but a lot worse. That’s also what computers can do. That’s why we hate them.

No surprise which side of this Google is on.

Tuesday, 23 May 2023