YouTube’s lowered mid-roll ad requirement may lead to shorter videos from publishers

Digiday 24 Jul 2020 04:01
July 24, 2020 by Tim Peterson

Don’t be surprised if you soon start noticing publishers’ YouTube videos getting shorter. 

By the end of July, YouTube will reduce videos’ required length to carry mid-roll ads from 10 minutes to eight minutes, and publishers operating channels with millions of subscribers are welcoming the news as an opportunity to avoid extending the duration of their videos simply to reap the extra ad revenue. “A 20% decrease in how much content you need to create is not insignificant,” said one publisher.

The change may be an attempt by YouTube to remove the incentive for publishers and creators to pad their videos with extra content that only serves the purpose of ensuring a video qualifies to carry mid-roll ads. That can compromise the quality of videos and annoy viewers who sit through the interstitial ads only to be rewarded with filler content. Since the timeline in YouTube’s video player displays when a mid-roll ad will play, viewers may see a mid-roll ad is slotted near the end of the video, expect that the content after the ad will be filler and opt to stop watching before the ad plays, preempting the revenue that would have resulted for the video maker and for YouTube.

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