Dec. 3, 2010 at 2:19 PM ET
Starting this week, YouTube is rolling out a new pre-roll video ad platform called TrueView that can actually be skipped, after five seconds. Here's the rundown from YouTube's blog:
When you see an ad start to play, look for a 5-second countdown button that will allow you to "skip it. If the ad doesn’t seem relevant or engaging to you, skip it and continue to the video you wanted to watch. Not every ad you see will have this "skip" option but we are working to bring you more choice and control in advertising where possible.
The motivation, says YouTube, is to get advertisers to produce content that's more relevant and engaging. And TechCrunch reports that, despite what it could mean for some ads, "Advertisers like it because they only pay if the user doesn’t hit the 'skip' button, which means, at least in theory, that the people who do watch their ads are more interested in whatever they’re selling."
As someone who tends to click the "skip" button automatically (sorry corporate sponsors!), I welcome this. But on the other hand, it very likely means that more and more YouTube videos will start with pre-roll advertising, in addition to those pop-ups, so get ready for that tidal wave.
So, not all ads are skippable, and you may have to click through to YouTube itself to get the full ad-skip experience, but I refreshed the following (totally insane) video several times, and did in fact spot a few TrueView ads.