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YouTube Experiments With Ads You Can Skip

The company that made its bread on Web advertising has a new idea: let users skip the ads they don’t like seeing.

Google is testing the new “skippable” pre-roll video ads on selected partners’ YouTube clips, according to PaidContent. Right now, in-video YouTube ads consist of semi-transparent textual banners that slide up below a video, and which can be clicked off. Playing video ads before clips could boost Google’s “cost for engagement” ad model, but the company is treading carefully in its quest to make the world’s biggest video repository into a profitable entity.

Mac ad

Google will reportedly continue to use the textual banner ads as it implements pre-roll video. The company has also experimented with post-roll video ads, but found that model “lacking,” says PaidContent.

Another more lucrative model might be made-for-YouTube video ads build into the site itself. Apple has just launched one such video, a successor to their popular Mac vs. PC television series, pictured above. Instead of serving it as a regular YouTube clip, the site has embedded the video in the top section and the sidebar, as was done with a similar New York Times ad campaign earlier this year. The ad, which stars Justin Long and John Hodgman in their familiar roles as Mac and PC, might be one of the few ad franchises consumers may find palatable enough to watch (if foisted upon them as an embedded video). The model represents a lucrative opportunity if YouTube can find other fitting content.