It was announced that YouTube is trialling a new feature which allows users to choose their own ads.
“Viewers will be able to pick between watching a single pre-roll ad (usually 30 seconds or longer) or up to four commercial breaks (at least 15 seconds each) within a given clip. If they go with the pre-roll, there’s also a choice between two different ads.”
Now … I am aware a lot of people will come out and say ‘wow what a good idea’ and comment that really in this consumer controlled media landscape the consumer should have control over everything, including ads.
I’m not so sure it’s really that whiz bang.
1/ My gut tells me if someone is confronted with watching 1 x 30 second or potentially 4 x 15s … what are they going to do? I’d guess it’s whatever quickest and least painful
2/ Given most video views on YouTube are around a minute or less … are people going to stomach pre-roll or will it only be limited to their longer form content (such awesome quality as re-runs of Alf)
3/ What happens if YouTube are selling more 30s than 15s … how do you balance user choice versus sell through and yield?
4/ How valuable is data around what ads a user chooses to watch if they’re choosing the ad before they see it?
5/ What happens if you give someone the choice between watching a bank ad and the trailer for the big Hollywood release? Is anyone going to watch the bank ad? It’s good for hero brands and probably not so good for less aspirational ones. Problem is, generally, hero brands don’t spend much on media and therefore aren’t going to save the day when it comes to revenue.
Now there’s nothing wrong with offering choice … but it just doesn’t seem practical to me. I think the ad industry will be excited about this … for Joe Schmoe it’s just another decision he has to make he doesn’t want to.