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Showing viewers more relevant ads

By Steve Stukenborg and Phil Farhi

Product Managers

[Update: This blog post was updated at 3:00AM PST on 4/18. Default ad settings and smarter ad serving will now be available 4/19]

Last year we introduced a new type of ad format that gave viewers choice over the ads they watched. These ads allow users to skip an ad after 5 seconds and are called TrueView in-stream video ads. We believed that giving viewers choice over ads they watch would lead to a better, more engaged viewing experience—benefiting the entire YouTube community of users, partners and advertisers.

Over the past year, TrueView ads have been one of our fastest growing ad formats on YouTube and now 60 percent of all in-stream ads are skippable. Our research shows that 9 out of 10 consumers prefer ads they can skip, and we’ve seen that TrueView ads benefit you as a content creator too:

  • More revenue: TrueView in-stream ads tend to earn equal to or higher revenue than standard in-stream ads
  • Viewers staying longer:  TrueView in-stream ads reduced audience drop-off by 40% when compared to regular in-stream ads
  • More advertisers: TrueView in-stream represents the majority of all in-stream ads and will allow you to access to a broader base of advertisers

Since we’ve seen such positive results we’re rolling out a series of changes that will help you more fully leverage the benefits of TrueView in-stream video ads:

Changes to default ad settings
Starting Thursday, April 19, we’re introducing an easier way to control how ads appear on your content by allowing you to set default ad settings for all newly uploaded videos. Due to the benefits of TrueView in-stream, it will now be a default ad format, in addition to overlay ads. However, if this doesn’t work for you, you can adjust the settings at any time. Learn more with this help center article.

Introducing a new analytics report
To find which ads work best for you, we recently launched a new report in YouTube Analytics to help you compare ad performance. Within this report, you will be able to easily see the gross revenue and the CPMs (cost per thousand impressions - the price an advertiser paid for the ad) by ad type and across countries! This information can be used be used to ensure the best ad format is being displayed for you and your viewers. You can go the help center page to learn more.

Smarter ad serving
Also starting on Thursday, April 19, we’ll begin taking a more intelligent approach to how we serve in-stream ads and will no longer have a seven-minute frequency cap. Now, when showing in-stream ads, we’ll use a number of signals, such as content type and how a user discovered your video, to dynamically determine when is the best time to show ads.

Our research shows this should maximize long-term viewership and revenue by placing ads in front of users at the best possible time. While this change will benefit most partners, some may experience a reduction in their in-stream revenue—so it’s important to monitor your ad performance report to find the formats that work best for you. You can learn more about this change in the help center.

We encourage you to view the help pages above and the ads help center page, so you can be fully informed about the impact of these changes.