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Empowering Online Advertisements by Empowering Viewers with the Right to Choose

Melanie Kellar
Dan Zigmond
Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 52 (2012), pp. 65-71


In 2010, YouTube introduced TrueView in-stream advertising—online video advertisements that allowed the user to skip directly to the desired video content after five seconds of viewing. Google sought to compare these “skippable” in-stream advertisements to the conventional (non-skippable) in-stream video advertising formats, using a new advertising effectiveness metric based on the propensity to search for terms related to advertising content. Google’s findings indicated that skippable video advertisements may be as effective on a per-impression basis as traditional video advertisements. In addition, data from randomized experiments showed a strong implied viewer preference for the skippable advertisements. Taken together, these results suggest that formats like TrueView in-stream advertisements can improve the viewing experience for users without sacrificing advertising value for advertisers or content owners.