YouTube is killing 30-second unskippable ads

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YouTube's most annoying feature is going.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Google has confirmed plans to scrap 30-second unskippable ads on YouTube in 2018.

The clips, which users are forced to watch before their chosen video, are seen as a nuisance to viewers. Google will instead focus on “formats that work well for both users and advertisers.”

We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online,” Google explained in a statement to The Campaign. “As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018.”

Ads that run for 15 and 20 seconds will stick around, and you will still have the option to skip them. However, it’s thought Google is planning to promote the use of its six-second “bumper ads” instead, which are a lot less painful for impatient viewers.

Google knows the move won’t please advertisers, but it wants to make YouTube a more enjoyable environment for users. And let’s face it, the platform’s sheer size means that the company can pretty much do whatever it wants and advertisers will play ball.

Will Smyth, head of media at the Agenda21 agency, told BBC News that 30-second ads are “a legacy from TV times,” and are no longer the most effective way to advertise. Doing away with them on YouTube will “encourage advertisers to be more creative” with their marketing.

Google won’t be making these changes until 2018, so we still have to endure 30-second ads for just under a year. Nevertheless, it’s nice to know their days are numbered.