What you need to know
- YouTube will discontinue overlay ads on April 6.
- This ad format is available only on the platform's desktop site, with YouTube calling it "disruptive for viewers."
- YouTube says it will focus on other ad formats that perform better on desktop and mobile devices.
For many users, watching their favorite YouTube creators unbox their latest finds and then being interrupted by ads that appear at the bottom of a video is a vexing experience. YouTube recognizes this frustration, as it has confirmed that overlay ads are going away next month.
YouTube announced in a forum post that it's putting an end to this ad format on April 6 in order to minimize disruption for viewers (via 9to5Google). The Google-owned platform has acknowledged that pop-up ads at the bottom are distracting to the viewer experience.
With the upcoming change, the video-sharing platform is shifting its focus to "higher performing ad formats on desktop and mobile devices."
If you watch YouTube videos without a Premium subscription, you're probably familiar with the ads that run across the bottom of a video. This type of ad shows up only on YouTube's desktop site. More often, you might have been annoyed by its sight, although it's a tradeoff that comes with watching free content.
However, it is not as intrusive as larger pop-ups on the platform, such as skippable video ads, because you can still watch the video while the ad remains at the bottom. You can even close the ad at any time by clicking the "X" button in the top-right corner.
The upcoming removal should somehow provide a better viewing experience for users, although they'll still have to live with other ad formats like pre-, mid-, and post-roll ads.
For creators, the service promises that the change will have a minimal impact as "engagement shifts to other ad formats." It's safe to assume that we'll see more pre-roll ads, for example, after overlay ads are retired next month.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.