Get ready for a world with fewer intrusive video ads.
On February 5, Google announced that video ads deemed to be intrusive will stop appearing on Chrome beginning August 2020. Chrome will stop showing all ads on sites in any country that repeatedly show the following kinds of video ads:
- 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 5 seconds.
- Mid-roll ads of any duration that appear in the middle of a video, interrupting the user’s experience.
- 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 percent of the video content.
These restrictions apply to short-form video content defined as eight minutes or less in length.
Why Google Announced a Change
You might be wondering why Google identified those specific ad formats. Google is following recommendations from the Coalition for Better Ads, the organization responsible for the Better Ads Standards that inform companies such as Google on user feedback about ads that work and ads that do not. On February 5, the Coalition for Better Ads announced the recommended changes to video ad formats based on research from 45,000 consumers globally. According to the Coalition for Better Ads:
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. The Coalition’s Better Ads Standards identify the ad experiences that fall beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability and are most likely to drive consumers to install ad blockers. More than 100,000 consumers have participated to date in the Coalition’s research to develop its set of Better Ads Standards.
As a result, Google said that starting August 5, 2020, Chrome will stop showing such ads on sites. Google also said that it will review YouTube video content for compliance with the standards. In addition, “Similar to the previous Better Ads Standards, we’ll update our product plans across our 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.”
Note that the standards for short-form video do not apply to other environments like feeds or over-the-top (OTT).
What You Should Do
Change is coming. It’s time to prepare:
- Per Google, if you operate a website that shows ads, consider reviewing your site status in the Ad Experience Report. This is a tool that helps publishers understand if Chrome has identified any violating ad experiences on your site.
- Review your YouTube game plan. YouTube will be affected by the blocking of midroll ads but not the other two types identified above.
- Ask your ad agency how they will ensure that ads they create are compliant.
At True Interactive, we are monitoring this development closely and are well prepared to help our clients thrive in this new environment. We manage video ads all the time and understand how to ensure compliance.