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YouTube have just announced yesterday that they’re going to make their skippable ads available much more widely. They’ve been trialling them for really quite a while now, allowing a few advertisers to pay for ads only when someone opts to watch the whole ad having been given the choice to skip it. Presumably they were testing whether or not people would opt to watch any of the ads at all. My reaction when I first heard about this ad format was that it would never work, I mean, who would watch ads if they didn’t have to? Obviously now it’s being rolled out more broadly YouTube believe (presumably based on the trial data) that people are wiling to watch ads. If you think about it a bit more, it’s not actually so strange, after all, many of the most watched videos on YouTube are ads: just think of the Evian roller babies (31M views), the Cadbury’s gorilla (over 4M views) or even the Finisterre surfing sheep (0.4M views).
It’s launching to bigger advertisers in the US and Canada now, and to some UK advertisers, but hopefully it’ll be available more broadly shortly. I am excited about this as I much prefer pull marketing versus push (don’t we all?), and I hope it’s a success for users and advertisers alike. Here’s the official YouTube link:

YouTube Blog: TrueView Video Ads give viewers choice and control…: “Advertising is what allows many of YouTube’s most creative video producers to keep producing their great material – it directly funds their …”

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