The longer 30-second YouTube unskippable ad was introduced by the site as a means to convince brands to move traditional TV budgets onto digital instead. While the general indication is that advertisers are embracing online advertising as a viable alternative to television, they have found shorter formats—via products offered by Facebook, Snapchat, and even YouTube itself—to appeal to the limited attention spans of mobile-first consumers.
Google continues to experiment with both the ad products available on YouTube, and the means that it can monetize the millions of eyeballs that watch videos on the site each month. For the first time in 2015, the company offered users an ad-free subscription service called YouTube Red to diversify their income stream. YouTube has historically been a loss-leader for Google, and has even been named as the responsible party for decreases in cost per click, a metric Wall St. looks at as an indicator for quarterly performance.
The change to YouTube’s ads offering, as reported first by Campaign, is being made as part of a commitment to provide “better ads experience for users online”, a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement. The 20-second YouTube unskippable ad will not be impacted by this change.