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How marketers can adjust to YouTube dropping unskippable 30-second ads

YouTube is dropping support for the 30-second unskippable ad format, phasing it out over the course of the year, meaning video marketers will have to adjust their strategy to fit shorter video formats.

Instead, YouTube will shift to shorter ad formats, including the current 15 second formats and skippable after 5 second formats. The shorter timeframe will be a boon to customers? data plans but gives marketers a smaller canvas to work with.

?We?ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers," said a Google spokesman.

New ad formats
In the early days of YouTube, consumers reveled in the amount of free content being created, but as the years went on and YouTube needed to make money, ads were introduced to help fund the platform.

Since being acquired by Google, YouTube has only continued to grow in popularity and traffic, in addition to revenue.

Popular YouTube streamers now routinely accrue millions of subscribers and views, raking in large amounts of money off of ad revenue and giving marketers a massive audience to put their message in front of. 

Consumers have bemoaned the addition of ads but it has undoubtedly had a huge effect on the YouTube?s continued prosperity, attracting big name talent and incentivizing them to continue to make quality content.

Even so, YouTube is aware of the gripes consumers have about ads and is responding by phasing out the most intrusive format, the unskippable 30-second ad.

YouTube marketers will have to adjust to the new ad formats

Starting now and until the end of the year, these ads will be phased out for reasons of low engagement from consumers.

For desktop users, these long ads were usually a cue to mute the video and open up a new tab until it ends. 

Mobile users do not have this luxury, and many probably have given up on a video entirely because of it.

With attention spans of consumers now at a premium, marketers need whatever help they can get to hold on to customer attention.

Video formats
With the dropping of the 30-second unskippable ad, YouTube will now force marketers to rely on the other ad formats to available to them.

All of these formats are shorter than the 30 second one, clocking in at 15 seconds, 5 seconds, or a 30 second ad that can be skipped after 5 seconds.

This means that marketers will be forced to adjust their advertising strategy to a shorter window of time.

This could prove a boon to marketers, as quicker, more engaging content will be required of them to continue grabbing customer attention.

YouTube Red, the platform's premium content hub, will be unaffected

It may be a tough adjustment at first, but marketers who embrace five or 15-second ads will prosper from their ability to adequately communicate their message in the allotted time.

This is an important decision for mobile marketers as video campaigns have risen in popularity as smartphones become more powerful.

Just recently, brands such as Foot Locker (see story) and Old Spice (see story) have used video ads to engage a larger contingent of customers.

Dropping the 30-second ad format may also affect live streaming, a recently development from YouTube that has been of interest to the platform?s popular gaming personalities.

?Our mobile live streaming uses YouTube?s rock-solid infrastructure, meaning it?ll be fast and reliable, just the YouTube you know and love,? said YouTube product manager Barbara Macdonald. ?And we?ve been working hand-in-hand with hundreds of creators to refine the mobile streaming experience while they stream from a boat or take live calls from their fans. 

?Based on their feedback, we did things like slowing down live chat (it turns out receiving 2,000 messages per second is a little too fast!) and pushing for better streaming quality across devices,? she said.