YouTube has started testing ‘ad pods’: 2 skippable ads delivered back-to-back

How YouTube’s ad pod experience will display on a mobile device.

YouTube announced on Wednesday a new “ad pod” delivery experience that will show two skippable pre-roll or mid-roll ads — one right after the other. Currently being tested on desktop only, ad pods will soon roll out on mobile and connected TVs. The units create an ad experience that’s much more like TV.

Why you should care

YouTube says its research has shown that fewer ad break interruptions correlate with better user metrics, including lower rates of content abandonment and higher rates of ad viewing. By combining ads into one “pod” in a video, rather than showing a pre-roll and mid-roll ad in a video. With this test, YouTube hopes to see viewers, particularly those watching longer content, will be more likely to sit through the ads and stick with the content they’re watching.

We reported in June that YouTube started delivering more pre-roll and mid-roll ads. With this test, YouTube says advertisers are seeing greater reach and frequency when their ads are shown in pods.

More on YouTube ad pods:

  • Ad pods will not be delivered to every video, but instead surfaced based on the length of a video.
  • YouTube says viewers experienced up to 40 percent fewer interruptions when two ads were delivered in a single break versus being spread throughout a video.
  • “Early experiment results also show an 8 to 11 percent increase in unique reach and a 5 to 10 percent increase in frequency for advertisers with no impact to brand lift metrics,” the company said.

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