A (Re)Introduction to YouTube’s TrueView in-slate Ad Format

I just noticed this while watching a video on The X Factor USA YouTube channel. It seems that The X Factor USA channel has the capability of letting viewers choose the ads they’d like to watch before proceeding with the actual content. Viewers can choose between watching one of three different types of commercials from the top with no interruption during the video or having two commercial breaks occur during the video. As you might have noticed right off the bat, all three commercial choices are completely different and designed for separate target audiences.

I didn’t know how long YouTube has been doing this for, but my research pointed to a GigaOm article that was dated back to 2009! It appears that they’ve been doing this for quite some time now, but I doubt very many people know about it. Because of that, I decided to hit up YouTube for some answers, and this is what their representative said:

“This is our TrueView in-slate ad format. As it’s part of the TrueView family, advertisers are charged when users choose to watch their ad. It’s been live since May of last year, but only shows on long form content. For partners, the in-slate format  would show up as a separate line on their YT Analytics ad performance report dashboard, which provides data on CPMs, gross revenue, impressions, and playbacks for each available ad format that runs on their content.”

Overall, I think that this is an excellent feature from YouTube. Giving viewers three different ads to choose from allows advertisers to target potential customers regardless of which channel it’s shown on. This helps advertisers further scale their marketing campaigns for the highest potential conversion rates. Happy advertisers means bigger paychecks for publishers (hopefully).

But that’s not all! On the creator/publisher side, letting viewers choose the ads they want to watch provides valuable data that will help them see which types of products appeal to that specific channel’s audience. Also, since creators can see which ads on that video get picked the most, this allows them to further understand their target demographic. This would help creators pitch their YouTube channel to advertisers for future sponsored videos and brand deals. As I’ve said before, one of the best ways to win an advertiser over is to show solid data that both of your audiences align with each other. This will mean a happy marriage where everyone wins.


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