YouTube wants to make its ads a little less annoying on TVs

YouTube on Galaxy Z Fold 2 with toys around it
(Image credit: Chris Wedel)

What you need to know

  • YouTube details it will begin experimenting with offering fewer but longer ad breaks for content streamed on TVs.
  • The platform is also planning on introducing a new circular ad timer for TVs, for better clarity, instead of the current "Ad 1 of 2" format.
  • YouTube cites user feedback as the catalyst behind its experiments, however, there is no concrete word aside from the tests happening "soon."

YouTube's continued success in the streaming race is causing the platform to look at refining its ad experience for connected TVs. According to a blog post,  YouTube is interested in cutting back the amount of disruptions users receive through ads when watching long-form content. Per its data, 65% of TV viewers are watching content that is 21 minutes or longer.

The platform states that 79% of its viewers "prefer video ads that are grouped together instead of distributed throughout a video." As such, YouTube will try and cut that down by offering fewer but longer ad breaks in an attempt to produce a more "seamless experience" on TVs.

Furthermore, YouTube viewers have also voiced their interest in wanting a clearer way to know when an ad break is over and how many ads they're receiving. The company is planning to conduct a test soon involving a little more clarity with its ad duration indicators for viewers.

The test appears to involve a new circular countdown timer at the bottom right instead of the number of ads watched and how many are remaining.

YouTube cites user feedback as the catalyst behind the experiments it has in store for content streamed on larger screens. Aside from a vague "soon," there's no solid word on when users can start seeing these in some limited capacity.

However, the test will give YouTube a chance to "see if these changes are positive for our viewers, advertisers, and creators," according to Nicky Rettke, YouTube's head of ad products team (via The Verge). 

YouTube rolled out 30-second unskippable ads for CTVs earlier this year as part of its efforts to offer more "engaging" formats. Unskippable ads appeared as a limited test for some users in a rather "unbearable" way, leading to a wave of complaints. This was in part due to some users encountering as many as five consecutive unskippable ads. The version that TVs received simplified this to a singular showing.

Shoppable ads on TVs are another part of YouTube's engaging ad formats, a type the platform quickly rolled out for Shorts a year later in 2022. On TVs, these advertisements provide a link users can easily enter on their phones to browse more of what they've seen before their streamed content.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.