Given that a stunning swath of its views take place on mobile devices — to the tune of 70% — it seems surprisingly belated that YouTube is only now rolling out vertical video ads.
The company made the announcement at the digital advertising conference DMEXCO yesterday in Cologne, Germany. Vertical ads will fill up mobile screens when users are consuming vertical content, and will expand and compress based on the dimensions of the YouTube video. The Drum notes that the ads follow in the footsteps of increasingly popular formats served for years by the likes of Snapchat and Instagram.
YouTube first moved away from its longstanding emphasis on horizontal video in 2017 with the launch of vertical orientation, and rolled out the format to desktop devices in July. At launch, vertical ads will be available to customers purchasing YouTube’s TrueView and Universal App ad formats. The ads will also enable marketers to link to their own external sites.
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“As more video gets shot vertically, we want to take advantage of the full canvas and not just have it rammed into the horizontal [layout] with black bars on the side,” YouTube’s chief product officer, Neal Mahon, told The Drum.
In addition to vertical video ads, YouTube also unveiled at DMEXCO that it is introducing a new way to sell both ads on users’ Home feeds, where their personalized page recommendations are housed. This is an enticing proposition, Mohan said, given that watch time driven by Home recommendations has grown three-fold over the past three years.