It’s no secret that I watch a lot of video ads. It’s one of the perks (or pains!) of working in the video advertising business. And yet, I was surprised to see that my younger cousins were gathered around a laptop showing each other their favorite ads over the weekend. Maybe it runs in the family. More likely, people just love watching great content and engaging ads. Every statistic we’ve seen shows that sharing and watching online videos has become a part of everyday life, and that the gap between video ad spend and audience attention is slowly narrowing. At Google, we’re always trying to improve the experience of watching video ads. With that in mind, we’re rolling out a new ad format called TrueView to our network of video publishers.

TrueView ads, pioneered on YouTube, differ from traditional video ads in two main ways. First, they give viewers choice - for example, the ad may be skippable or present a choice of ads to watch. Second, TrueView ads are sold through a Cost Per View (CPV) basis. You may be familiar with Cost Per Click (CPC) where the advertiser pays when someone clicks on their ad; similarly with CPV ads, advertisers are charged when a viewer chooses to watch the ad.

For example, say you're about to watch an interview with the makers of a new movie on The Hollywood Reporter. A TrueView in-stream video ad will start to play and a counter will appear giving you the option, after five seconds, to skip the ad and continue watching the video.

We believe TrueView is a win for users, publishers and advertisers. Users have more control over the ads they see. Advertisers get to combine the engagement of video with the precision of online advertising. And publishers see higher returns, since advertisers value a truly engaged audience.

A small group of our AdSense for video publishers are already using TrueView ads on a portion of their video inventory, and have seen RPMs equal or better than standard pre-roll ads, while dramatically improving the user experience. TrueView video ads also help to decrease audience drop-off rates by 40% on YouTube Partner sites when compared to regular in-stream ads, which means more viewers are continuing to watch videos.

One of our partners The Hollywood Reporter has been experimenting with TrueView ads and has already seen a significant increase in viewer retention. Product Manager Reed Halstrom tells us, “We’ve seen video views increase by 21% and viewed minutes increase by 17% since we started using TrueView ads.”

If you have existing video content on your site and are interested in gaining access to TrueView video ads through AdSense for video, please leave your details by completing our online form. We’re committed to improving the overall online video viewing experience and will continue to work with our publishers and advertisers to make that happen - which should come as no surprise.

Posted by Payam Shodjai, Lead Product Manager, Video Monetization