YouTube now has six-second advertisements that you can’t skip


YouTube decided to remind us that life is full of compromises with a new blog post this morning, in which it announced that it’s introducing a new advertisement format that shortens ads to just six seconds, but also removes the ability to skip them. Whether this is better or worse than the older formats is a matter of opinion, but it’s important to note that the new format will compliment the older ones, not replace them.

YouTube announced a new ad format today that’s all about brevity. In a blog post, Product Manager Zach Lupei said YouTube has been exploring formats that are better-suited for smartphone video watchers. Hence the creation of Bumper ads — video ads that are only six seconds long. The idea of a really short ad isn’t new — the name suggests that the inspiration comes from those brief bumper videos you see on TV. And it makes sense that as online videos get shorter, ads will follow suit. (It’s not great when you sit through a 30-second pre-roll to get to a video that isn’t much longer.) At the same time, YouTube is pitching this as a complement, rather than a replacement, to its existing ad formats. The idea is that an advertiser could run a YouTube campaign centered on a longer video, then use the brief Bumper ads to reinforce the message or reach more viewers. And since they’re so short, the Bumpers won’t be skippable.

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