YouTube brings skippable ads to mobile devices

As it negotiates a big shift to mobile, the Google unit says it is now serving up TrueView ads on smartphones and tablets. Viewers skip video ads after 5 seconds, and advertisers pay only when viewers let an ad play out.

Google Mobile Ads Blog

YouTube will now let people viewing clips on the site by way of their mobile devices skip video ads after 5 seconds, the same way they can when watching clips on a desktop or laptop computer.

The video site said in a blog post today that its TrueView ads -- launched for PCs in December of 2010 -- are heading to smartphones and tablets.

Under TrueView, advertisers pay only when someone chooses to watch a complete ad. But does this ever happen? According to YouTube it does. The Google unit said late last year that 15 percent to 45 percent of viewers on desktops and laptops were indeed opting to let ads play out. YouTube also said then that the TrueView format had become one of the site's fastest growing formats among advertisers, with 50 percent of all in-stream ads being skippable.

AllThingsD notes that for now, the skippable ads are available only on Android devices, because the iPhone's YouTube app doesn't allow ads of any kind. But Apple's license to include that app in its iOS operating system is lapsing, and Google will be producing its own YouTube app for the Apple device, allowing it to sell more ads.

Google, Facebook, and other companies that make money by selling ads are trying hard to figure out the best way to get ads in front of mobile users, as more and more people cruise the Web using their mobile devices.

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