YouTube is testing fewer but longer ad breaks on TV

YouTube revealed recently that it is developing a new technique to display ads on smart TVs, in addition to its apps on linked devices such as gaming consoles and Apple TV. The company said it is experimenting with having fewer but longer ad breaks on those devices, which it refers to as CTV.

The platform is also looking into ways to provide viewers more information about how long ad breaks last.  “Our research shows a majority of viewers prefer knowing the total time remaining in the ad break versus the number of ads being served,” Google said in a blog post. Soon, YouTube will start testing this enhanced CTV ad experience by making it simpler for users to gauge how long an ad break front and center.

YouTube began distributing 30-second, unskippable ads to TVs earlier this year. In April, according to the company, it reached 150 million Americans via connected TVs. 

According to the most recent statement made by the firm, more than 700 million hours of YouTube material are seen everyday on TVs. Over 80% of TV viewers use a second screen while viewing, therefore the platform also introduced shoppable ads on CTV and an industry-first send-to-phone feature to enable interaction with ads.

Over half of weekly video watchers surveyed by Kantar said YouTube was the first app they opened on their TV screen. Additionally, YouTube continues to dominate connected TV (CTV) streaming watch time, according to the most recent Nielsen Gauge Report.

65% of YouTube CTV watch time in the US is spent on content that last at least 21 minutes, Google says. 

Written by Jordan Bevan


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