Google executives were as sparing as ever in yesterday's Q2 '11 earnings call with details about YouTube's financial performance, but they did divulge one interesting new nugget: 1/3 of YouTube's in-stream ads are now in a skippable format. Susan Wojcicki, Google's SVP, Advertising shared the data point to show the rapid progress that YouTube has made since launching its "TrueView" format last December.
TrueView is an important building block in a larger industry initiative Google is pursuing, to have 50% of video ads include a cost-per-view element. Google believes that by giving viewers the option to skip the ad or select a particular one, engagement will be stronger which will in turn drive rates higher. As with DVR ad-skipping, viewers also gain greater control of their experience which so satisfaction will improve.
It's a great move by Google because YouTube is awash in video views (as once again demonstrated by today's June comScore online video rankings which showed YouTube generating a record 2.3 billion+ viewing sessions with 5 hours 24 minutes per viewer). YouTube's audience is so large that narrowing down to just those viewers that actually watch an ad will still result in a sizable audience. If YouTube can re-condition advertisers to pursuing skippable ads, its advantage over competitors could grow further, and rates should trend up.
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