YouTube Is Giving Away Free Video Advertising

By 06/29/2011
YouTube Is Giving Away Free Video Advertising

YouTube’s newest video advertising product, TrueView, promises its viewers will give advertisers their undivided attention—and YouTube won’t charge those advertisers unless they do.

The new family of ad formats allows viewers to choose and control which advertisers’ messages they want to see, and when.

The InStream format plays as a pre- or mid-roll against short or long-form videos, and allows the viewer to opt out after 5 seconds. The InSlate format plays against long form content and gives the viewer the option to choose an ad to watch before the program, or during regular commercial breaks.

YouTube only charges advertisers whose ads viewers choose to watch, and only after they’ve watched the ad for at least 30 seconds (or to completion if it’s shorter than 30 seconds). Otherwise the partial ad is served free; advertisers are paying for engaged audiences, not just served impressions.

Scripps Networks is taking advantage of TrueView’s ability to target and track a younger and newer viewer base for HGTV’s Design Star. The show traditionally attracted 45-year-olds and up, according to Laurie Sullivan at MediaPost, but the TrueView YouTube campaign is successfully pulling in a younger demo. The network is using the relatively new YouTube ad format to promote 30 second pre-roll promos for Design Star, Cash & Carl, and Selling New York.

“As the ad runs in the YouTube video, a big call to action lets viewers skip the ad, but we found 44% of people actively choose to watch the ad for Selling New York all the way through,” Jonah Spegman, Director of Digital Media and Database Marketing at Scripps told Sullivan. “The other 56% still see the ad, but not in its entirety. The nice thing is they still watch between 25% and 50% before they choose to skip.”

The nice thing for Scripps is they don’t pay for ads served to that 56%, but still get the added benefit of all those ad impressions. And the nice thing for YouTube is they’re serving an engaging form of online video advertising that appears to be working and – more importantly – makes the advertisers want to come back and pay for more.