Google Chrome is blocking intrusive ad formats within short form videos from 5 August 2020. More specifically, the ad formats affected will be:
- Long, non-skippable pre-roll ads or groups of ads longer than 31 seconds that appear before a video and that cannot be skipped within the first five seconds;
- Mid-roll ads of any duration that appear in the middle of a video, interrupting the user’s experience; and
- Image or text ads that appear on top of a playing video and are in the middle 1/3 of the video player window or cover more than 20% of the video content.
This comes as the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) announced a new set of standards for ads that show during video content, based on research from 45,000 consumers worldwide in eight countries representing 60% of global online advertising spending. The research found strong alignment of consumer preferences across countries and regions for the most- and least-preferred online ad experiences, supporting the adoption of a single Better Ads Standard for these environments globally. This standard does not apply to digital environments that CBA has yet to test such as feeds or over-the-top and connected TV experiences.
In a blog post, product manager Jason James said Chrome will expand its user protections and stop showing all ads on sites in any country that repeatedly show these disruptive ads.
YouTube.com, like other websites with video content, will be reviewed for compliance with the standards.
Similar to the previous Better Ads Standards, James said Google will update its product plans across its ad platforms, including YouTube, as a result of this standard, and leverage the research as a tool to help guide product development in the future.
Beginning this week, it will update the Ad Experience Report with information to help publishers resolve any issues with these new video standards currently on their site. “If you operate a website that shows ads, you should consider reviewing your site status in the Ad Experience Report, a tool that helps publishers to understand if Chrome has identified any violating ad experiences on your site,” James added. Marketing has reached out to CBA for additional information about the new standard.
With Google phasing out third-party cookies and Chrome now committing to videos with fewer intrusive ads, Amy Ho, product strategy director, APAC at Integral Ad Science (IAS) said contextual targeting on suitable environments will become more important than ever. Advertisers will begin to explore the context of the content and make sure that the ads that run are complementary to what the viewer is engaging with at the right time and the right environment and in the most relevant manner. According to her, this helps marketers to put themselves in the consumer’s shoes when creating content.
“Annoyed audiences have gotten used to ignoring digital ads altogether. In order to reverse that trend, content, and advertising needs to be relevant,” she said, adding:
There’s no reason why digital advertising cannot be an engaging experience and win-win for both consumers and advertisers. This move is a step closer to that.
Besides YouTube, Facebook is also a platform that popular among advertisers that features pre-roll and mid-roll ads. While usage of social platforms is certainly moving towards mobile, desktop still pushes a small amount of eyeballs to the social platform globally. Of which, Google Chrome still has a market share of about 64%, according to web traffic analysis company Statcounter. But Ho said she does not foresee Facebook getting impacted by the move.
Meanwhile, Stella Berry, regional business director at adtech firm Adludio which works with firms such as Richemont, LVMH, IBM, Standard Chartered, Singapore Airlines, said there will “surely be an immediate impact” on Facebook’s revenue. “Nevertheless, this move, combined with fewer and fewer people spending time on Facebook, now means publishers have more opportunity to explore other avenues for ad spend, to be able to engage with audiences in a way that’s seamless with their online experience,” she explained.