YouTube has started trialling a new ‘skip to end’ button video ad format, which makes users watch both the first five seconds and the last five seconds of an ad.

Cameron Church, founder and CEO of video intelligence platform Watching That, anticipates that this is the video platform’s latest move into the TV market and expects this will bridge the gap between traditional 30-second ads and the ‘skip ad’ format.

YouTube’s new format uses Google’s Trueview, a video ad format that gives the viewer various options, the most common of which is the ability to skip the advertisement after five seconds.

Existing TrueView in-stream ads are built on the promise that you’ll only pay when someone chooses to watch 30 seconds or all the way to the end, or watch the video by click on the discovery ads that appear alongside other YouTube videos. 

Broader reach

Advertisers will now be able to create longer adverts to acquire a broader reach while still allowing the ads to be skipped after five seconds like all TrueView ads with this new TrueView variation.

In addition, advertisers are trying to gain attention for their brand in a far more complex landscape. The goal now is to capture users’ attention and maximise reach for shorter adverts.

“The news of YouTube trailing a new ‘skip to end’ video ad format is interesting, in that it signals the next stage of YouTube’s move to dominate the video ad space. Only YouTube supports Trueview and even though they have significant scale, they are far from the only game in town these days,” said Cameron.

Expanding ad format developments is increasingly important to advertisers and publishers in a world where subscription video on demand service like Netflix, which are ad-free, continue to take the lead.

“Essentially, it means one format for YouTube and one for everyone else. I imagine advertisers are pushing to be able to use the same creative for all – these are typically 30’s and repurposed from TV where the ad storyline is built to the end – so this should allow better re-use of creatives,” continued Cameron.

Advertisers are tailoring their ads to the TrueView format by ensuring their message comes across in the first five seconds while capturing users’ attention through the rest of the ad to ensure they don’t skip to the end.

“In addition, YouTube is allowing more and more premium publishers to directly sell the inventory they generate on their YouTube channels. They must make money but ‘skip ads’ don’t work, so publishers don’t offer them. This is probably a way of YouTube bridging that gap.”