Starting in November 2023, YouTube implemented a more proactive approach to ad placements on your videos. This adjustment involves YouTube taking charge of the decisions related to ad types, timing, and global targeting, replacing the manual selection process for pre-rolls, post-rolls, skippable, or non-skippable ads.
Why the change?
The intention behind this change is to optimise the viewer experience while ensuring creators can maximise their ad revenue. YouTube aims to alleviate the burden on creators by automatically placing video ads at optimal timestamps. The overarching goal is to strike a balance where creators spend less time on ad placements while potentially earning more in ad revenue. YouTube believe this update presents a win-win scenario for both creators and the YouTube community.
How will this effect viewership and revenue?
Concerns may arise regarding the impact on watch time. According to our data, enabling non-skippable ads may lead to a 5% increase in revenue, with a minimal decrease in watch time of less than 1%. Similarly, activating pre-roll ads could potentially boost revenue by over 15%, with a watch time reduction of less than 5%. While there may be a slight hit to watch time, the tradeoff is the potential for increased earnings over the long term.
It's important to note that these changes will not affect the ad settings of your existing videos, providing a level of continuity. For creators who prefer more control, the option to manually place mid-roll ads remains available. Additionally, for live streaming, creators can choose to let YouTube determine optimal mid-roll ad times or set regular intervals, offering flexibility in approach.
It's worth mentioning that these changes may not impact every creator, and for those utilising third-party streaming tools, compatibility with these new ad features may vary.
Enabling Ads for Multiple Existing YouTube Videos
- Go to YouTube Studio.
- In the left menu, select 'Content'.
- Select the grey box on the left of the video thumbnail for any video that you want to monetize.
- Click the 'Edit' dropdown in the black bar above your video list ➜ Monetization.
- Click 'On' in the monetization dropdown (if you want to change ad settings for mid-roll ads in bulk, click Edit ➜ Ad settings ➜ Check the box next to “Place ads during video (mid-roll)” and decide whether you want auto mid-roll ads for videos without ad breaks or all videos.
- Click 'Update videos' ➜ Check the 'I understand the implications of this action' box ➜ Update videos.
YouTube Ad Formats
YouTube Shorts ads
Ads on Shorts are immediately swipeable video or image ads that appear between Shorts in the Shorts Feed. Learn more about how ads work on Shorts in the YouTube Shorts monetization policies.
Default mid-roll ad settings
Learn how to change your channel’s default settings to feature mid-roll ad breaks in new uploads.
Ads outside the video player
Watch feed ads are ads that appear in the feed of recommended videos below the player on mobile and next to the player on computers. These types of ads cannot be controlled from within YouTube Studio.
Also referred to as ad pods, two back-to-back video ads can occur when you turn on ads for your long-form video (at least 5 minutes in length). Ad pods help reduce interruptions for viewers of longer videos, resulting in a better viewer experience.