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BizReport : Advertising archives : November 12, 2009

YouTube to test "skip" buttons in pre-roll ads

Much study predicts online video to be a key ad vehicle in the coming years, but the race is still on to find the "perfect storm" that will bolster the revenues of struggling video sites, including even the largest, YouTube.

by Helen Leggatt

youtube logo.jpgGoogle's YouTube has introduced a "skip" button for pre-roll ads across a select number of advertisers. The button won't be present on all ads or seen by all users, it is a small test among a select number of opted-in advertisers.

The goal of the experiment is to study consumer behavior towards the button and develop more user-friendly ads based on the results.

"For users, this format gives them more control over their experience. For advertisers, we're working toward a solution where they pay for ads that users actually watch and engage with. And for partners, skippable ads attempt to minimize abandonment rates, helping them protect the audiences they've worked hard to build," writes the Google team on its blog.

YouTube began testing pre-roll ads a couple of years ago and studies around that time showed a large number (70%) of viewers abandoned watching a video before the ad finished. In addition, the video site found that shorter ads, around the 15 second mark, were much more likely to be watched in their entirety.

Tags: ad formats, online advertising, online video, video advertising

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