YouTube deploys ad skipping
By Julian Clover
Published: December 3, 2010 11.05 Europe/London

FUTURE TV ADVERTISING – LONDON. YouTube has introduced a new advertising format that allows users to skip ads in which they have no interest.

The new TrueView ad unit effectively gives advertisers five seconds to engage with their market, after which viewers are allowed to skip the ad and go straight to their chosen piece of content. The advertiser only pays for the ad when it is actually viewed.

“We asked ourselves what would happen if we invented TV advertising today. TV seems to be beset with the challenge of how to spin against people fast forwarding during the ads or who aren’t in the room,” said Bruce Daisley, leader, YouTube & Display at Google UK.

“Our perspective was just to charge people for the engaged views, we took it to agencies three weeks ago, and within a week we had ten advertisers”.

Daisley said YouTube wanted to be able to identify which ads had the highest skip rate. “We’ve started to learn that the best ads skip less frequently. If someone believes an ad isn’t good enough we won’t charge them for it, however we’ll probably show that ad fewer times, and we’ll charge more for showing it”

According to recent research by Thinkbox, YouTube is now regarded as the fourth most important source of catch-up TV content in the UK with 33% saying they use the service.

Skipping ads is not new, a similar system has been deployed by Hulu in the United States, and earlier this month SeeSaw began offering users the ability to choose which as they wanted to see.