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Does YouTube show more pre-roll and mid-roll video ads?

Dan Shure, SEO consultant and podcast host, noticed a slight increase in the number of pre-roll and mid-roll ads on YouTube videos that he watched in the last week .

When signing in to his Google Account, Shure reported that YouTube ran a total of six ads during a 17-minute video broadcast by Maschine Masters: two pre-roll ads (both disabling), two ads aired on third of the way through the video, then two other ads that displayed two-thirds of the video.

Here is a video of Shure that highlights pre-roll announcement notice from YouTube, specifying two advertisements:

Shure was unable to trigger multiple mid-roll ads in the video that he shared, but others confirmed on Twitter that they also witnessed same similar increases in YouTube ads recently.

When asked to comment, a YouTube spokesperson sent the following reply by e-mail:

Our goal is to make sure ads are useful and relevant to users. The amount of ads that a user sees varies depending on a number of factors, including advertising preferences and the dynamic bidding and demand of advertisers.

In other words, Google does not confirm whether or not it tests pre-roll and mid-roll ads in YouTube videos. It seems obvious, however, that the goal of the company is to generate more revenue for YouTube and publishers monetizing their content.

With the launch of Instagram's IGTV, a larger space for brands and influencers, as well as Facebook's ongoing efforts to create video resources and monetization opportunities for creators, YouTube is facing stronger competition than ever before. But there is a delicate balance to stacking video content with more commercials, while creating optimal viewing experiences for the audience.

Unverified tests from YouTube indicate that it is possible to experiment with the amount of advertising inventory that a video can take.


About the author

Amy Gesenhues is the general reporter for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for land and search engine marketing. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning columnist for a number of dailies in New York, Texas. With over ten years of experience in marketing management, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs.com, SoftwareCEO.com, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more articles from Amy.