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YouTube Rolls Out Post-Roll Video Ads

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YouTube, which has never had trouble growing an audience but hasn’t yet figured out the trick for monetizing them thar eyeballs, is adding a trick from the old playbook: post-roll advertisements. As we understand it (and this has been confirmed with the company), if you don’t click on an overlay ad when it shows up in a clip you’re watching, the video ad it would have played rolls automatically at the end of your video. Previously a post-roll video wouldn’t play without being initiated by the user. This type of ad started rolling out over the last few weeks.

The post-rolls, like all ads on YouTube, only play on a portion of the 4 percent or so of the site’s videos uploaded by official partners with revenue-sharing agreements. The included screenshots show two instances of ads for Sanctuary, the web series picked up by Sci-Fi.

The Wall Street Journal reported in July that YouTube was considering including pre- and post-roll ads as one potential way to boost ad revenue. The fact that this type of ad plays automatically makes it much more likely that viewers will watch it.

Pre-rolls, however, are the far more intrusive of the two, because by definition a user has to finish watching such an ad before proceeding to the video he or she has already chosen to watch. But even post-roll ads are a significant reversal for Google-owned YouTube. When the site initially announced its in-video overlay ads last year, it justified the somewhat unconventional ad formats by saying 75 percent of its users who saw tests of pre- and post-roll ads were unhappy with them.

Just this summer Google CEO Eric Schmidt touted the effectiveness of embedded ads versus pre- and post-rolls. And earlier in the year he promised forthcoming ad products that would be “much more participative, much more creative, much more — much more interesting in and of themselves” than in-line ads. Since then, new products have included ad formats like a full-screen HD movie trailer and publisher tools like “Hot Spots,” which shows which parts of a video viewers are most interested in. That is to say, very few socks were blown off.

So for now, at least, the next big thing is hardly new.

38 Responses to “YouTube Rolls Out Post-Roll Video Ads”

  1. Felicia

    This is crazy. So we have pre and post rolls ads, pop up ads, and ads on the side of the screen. Not to mention the advertising on the front page. Does YouTube really need a tremendous amount of income from advertisers to keep the site going?

    I think this might be happening because some people with YouTube want to have a higher salary and realized this is the easiest way to go about it. I I doubt that there are thousands of employees for youtube.

    I’ve been doing web page design for 6 years and its not expensive to have a site up with this large of a viewer base. Its obvious this excess money is going somewhere else.

  2. I think for once they aren’t so worried about the money, but instead, trying to look towards the viewer’s opinions for once. We don’t want ads. That’s apparent. So why not just put them at the end and still make the company happy in order to keep us happy.

    Could be completely wrong, but the fact is we should be pretty happy about not have pre ads ha

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  5. The big picture: its not about how to get more money from the viewer (forced to view ad) its about getting and keeping more viewers, then ads that are selected by the viewer will produce.

  6. YouTube has a lot of competition now and other sites are doing much better, specially quality wise.

    This is a great place to post videos and you can actually get something in return! .

    It has over a dozen channels and currently about 300 videos, and growing!

    If you upload just 5 videos you get an entry to win a lottery for a brand new Seagate Free Agent GO drive, beats buying it for $199 US. Other things you can win are a Lottery for any product on ($200 US value), a $50 Itunes gift card or even 1 year of mavric media digital content database premium account for free (normailly costs $1100 US). More entries, more chances.

    You guys should try it out.

  7. every video embedded in my Pro-Boards bulletin board has now appeared with post-roll adverts. Who is making the money – Google or Pro-Boards. Sucks if one is thinking of having the pro-boards ad removed, and the ubiquitous Google Ad-words can’t be!

  8. People are getting used to pre-rolls now. The problem for Youtube is that – despite these ads only going on the partner content – it has the stigma of UGC, which people are less willing to have advertising around

  9. Sounds like a good idea and could be a big hit if it becomes possible to target videos accurately. E.g., if you’re a watching a video clip from a Palin/Couric interview, it’d be great to have an Obama ad at the end – most will hang on to see the ad.

  10. Youtube lacks flash technology on their player. Flash allows for so many better features. We pre-roll ads on our LIVE and produced videos and can also imbed sponsorship logos and clickable links in the actual live videos. We have some awesome content and opt-in thriving demographic if anyone is interested in advertising on a video based website:

    If so, contact me: [email protected]

  11. What are they thinking? (or not thinking). The problem with post rolls is not that they don’t automatically play, it’s that the user is done watching the video! They don’t sit through the “commercials” at the end.

    I would have expected Google to do something more innovative, similar to what did. what happened?