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Chrome to stop showing "intrusive" ads on short videos

Today the Coalition for Better Ads announced new standards for ads appearing on short form video.  Chrome will stop displaying ads on sites that violate these standards starting in August. It appears that YouTube ad formats are already in compliance.

The Coalition for Better Ads sets standards for all types of web ads, with the goal of encouraging less intrusive ads. Less intrusive ads are less likely to drive people to install ad blockers. The idea is a that is a win for site visitors, who aren't blasted by annoying ads, and for creators and publishers, who are less likely to lose revenue when their ads are blocked.

They called out three types of ads that are especially intrusive on videos that are 8 minutes or less:
Beginning on August 5, 2020, Chrome will stop displaying ads on sites that repeatedly show such disruptive ads on video content. 

It’s important to note that YouTube.com, like other websites with video content, will be reviewed for compliance with the Standards. 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.
Looking at YouTube's current ad formats, they seem to be in compliance with the Better Ads Standards already.  As of today, here are ad formats YouTube may place on videos:

Overlay Ads
YouTube offers "semi-transparent overlay ads that appear on the lower 20% portion of your video."

This appears to meet the Better Ads Standards, that state the problem is with ads "that are in the middle 1/3 of a playing video or are larger than 20% of the video content."

Pre-roll Ads
YouTube offers three types of in-stream ad formats that may play before the video starts:
  • Skippable video ads: viewers can skip the ad after 5 seconds
  • Non-skippable video ads: these ads cannot be skipped, but can only be 15-20 seconds in length (depending on regional standards)
  • Bumper ads: non-skippable ads up to 6 seconds long
A skippable ad and bumper ad may play back to back.

These appear to meet the Better Ads Standards that call out "pre-roll ads longer than 31 seconds that cannot be skipped in the first 5 seconds". YouTube's pre-roll ads are either less than 21 seconds, or can be skipped after 5 seconds.

Midroll ads

Both Skippable and Non-Skippable in-stream ads can be inserted during a video. 


This appears to comply with the Better Ads Standards that call out midroll ads only on short-form videos 8 minutes or less.

Non-YouTube Videos

These standards apply to any site that offers short-form video content. 

If you place ads on video content directly, for example using AdSense for Video, you will want to be mindful of the new standards. 

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