Separately to the renewal of its partnership with BBC Worldwide today, YouTube has agreed to trial pre-roll ads, and not just the usual display banners, on short-form UK TV clips offered by it BBCWW, Channel 4, National Geographic, ITN and Discovery (NSDQ: DISAB) partners.
Partners are able to place their own inventory, but the extent to which each is doing so varies. Ads can last up to 30 seconds, at broadcasters’ discretion, but 15 seconds is the guideline and clips with ads must last at least one minute, YouTube told paidContent:UK. Initial advertisers include Warner Bros, Match.com, Activision (NSDQ: ATVI), Renault and Nissan. It kicks off with C4 running ads for WB’s The Hangover movie – but embedding of these clips is disabled. ITV (LSE: ITV), which lost out on Boyle-Mania revenue through not placing pre-rolls and doesn’t have a UK YouTube partnership, is not part of the trial.
YouTube had been reluctant to damage the user experience with in-stream ads but introduced them in a test with CBS (NYSE: CBS) in October. After sceptcism, it’s now becoming clearer that pre-rolls could work on premium or long-form videos, if not on user-generated clips – they are now included in videos on the US site’s recently introduced Shows & Movies section. The UK site doesn’t yet have UK Shows & Movies but the trial on short-form here may be a prelude to more long-form relationships acquisitions.
YouTube UK head Suveer Kothari, in the release: “By providing premium partners with greater scope to monetise their content, we hope it will encourage them to place more of their content on YouTube. This will give YouTube users more free, entertaining professional content to view and provide advertisers with more professional inventory to showcase their TV creative against.”