One of the biggest challenges all ad-supported video providers face these days is how to optimally balance the viewer’s and the advertiser’s experiences. Given the range of non-ad-supported outlets (e.g. Netflix, Amazon, etc.), viewers are getting more accustomed to the pleasure of uninterrupted consumption. Meanwhile, advertisers are more challenged than ever to have their messages seen and their spending optimized.
There’s probably no better example of how to achieve the balance than YouTube’s TrueView ad format, which all of us have no doubt encountered and acted on, since its launch 6 years ago. With the choice to skip the ad after 5 seconds of countdown, viewers feel like they’re in control. And because advertisers don’t pay unless a minimum of 30 seconds of the ad has been watched, the TrueView format is highly cost-effective.
Yesterday, YouTube continued innovating the format by introducing “TrueView for reach,” which enables its Bumper ads to also become skippable after 5 seconds while sold on a CPM basis. Bumper ads were introduced 2 years ago and are mainly targeted for mobile. More recently, 6-second ads have become popular both online and on TV as a more viewer-friendly format. Now with the skippable bumpers ads, YouTube is providing viewers more control and advertisers more efficiency.
In the blog post, YouTube said that beta testing of 84 TrueView for reach campaigns found 9 out of 10 driving significant lift in ad recall, with an average lift of 20%. It also quoted Jay Altschuler, VP of Media at Samsung Electronics America saying the new format enabled it to reach 50% more people at half the CPM. And Vanessa Tsangaratos, Digital Marketing Manager at Pepsi France said she saw 30% lower CPMs on average compared to previous campaigns, which translated to 46% lower average cost on incremental reach points vs. TV.
It’s still early days for TrueView for reach and for bumper ads in general. But the format’s early success again shows how YouTube is responding to critical viewing changes, especially the shift to mobile. Achieving a balance between the viewer’s and the advertiser’s experience will continue to be a core focus for all ad-supported video providers going forward.