Google is testing a new way to show you ads on the YouTube app for TVs — users can expect fewer but longer ads. The company said it is experimenting with this ad format for a better viewing experience while watching long-form content — almost like a traditional commercial break during linear TV programming.
Along with this, YouTube is also trying to update the ad timer on the TV to better show the remaining time in the ad break. Currently, YouTube shows a particular ad’s length along with a placeholder saying “Ad 1 of 2,” which doesn’t make it clear how long the break will last. The company said it will begin testing this new timer that focuses on the total time of the ad break “soon.”
Earlier this year, YouTube started bringing 30-second unskippable ads to TVs. The company said it reached 150 million people across connected TVs in the U.S. in April. With the latest announcement, the company said people are watching over 700 million hours of YouTube content on TV screens daily. In other words, this is an important ad surface for the company.
Google is not just experimenting with YouTube ads on TVs. The company announced Thursday that starting in November, it will remove some ad controls from creators to choose pre-roll, post-roll, skippable and non-skippable ads. Creators can only turn ads on or off but the format will be decided by YouTube’s own system. They will also get controls to manually insert ads in a livestream.