YouTube is to allow its viewers to skip ads on its videos later this year, according to a senior product manager. The firm has been experimenting with skipping pre-rolls since November 2009, but the new proposal, which consists of an ad-skipping button, will be in beta form toward the end of 2010, and it puts it more in line with Hulu's Ad Selector format, which lets people choose between one long ad at the beginning of the video, or several short ones during playback. But what about the advertisers?
According to Baljeet Singh, YouTube's Senior Product Manager on Video Monetization, their revenue won't be affected--Google won't charge them if their ads are nexted by viewers. Singh even hopes that it will force advertisers to up their game, as company research indicated that good-quality, creative spots weren't skipped. "Good creative is the key in keeping skip rates low," he said.
Although big firms don't seem to have caught on yet, Google is very aware that the Internet is a different beast to TV and, as such, spots on the Web should reflect that. Refried TV ads, it seems, just won't cut it. Ad agencies will be happy, users will be happy, and corporations will just shrug their shoulders and suck up the extra costs, one supposes.
The announcement was made at a lunch in New York yesterday. "Real-time Bidding, Banner Ads, Google's Newest Big Business and Burgers" had presentations from eight Google managers, although most of the focus was on how to make money from YouTube, wich was bought by Google four years ago for $1.65 billion. Although the s-word (that's subscriptions) wasn't mentioned, Google's VP of Global Media and Platforms, Henrique de Castro did reveal that the video site would be available over "the entire spectrum between subscriptions and advertising."