It was with this belief in the importance of intent and relevance that 5 years ago we launched TrueView ads, which gave users the choice to watch or skip ads. It was a leap of faith based on the belief that viewers would choose to watch ads on YouTube if these ads were interesting, relevant, and engaging. Since then TrueView has come a long way, expanding to mobile, becoming more measurable with Brand Lift, and enabling more interactivity with features like app downloads seamlessly within your ad.
Today, we’re making TrueView an even better creative canvas for brands with greater interactivity and more accurate accounting of audience engagement.
Greater interactivity through cards
One of the top requests from brands has been to make videos more interactive, particularly on mobile. So we’re introducing cards for TrueView in-stream ads, a new feature which will make video ads a more engaging, interactive experience for viewers across all screens.
An evolution of our annotations feature, cards launched to videos on YouTube last month providing a more beautiful and seamless way to inform viewers about other videos, playlists, and more. Now with cards coming to TrueView in-stream ads, you can share more information about your brand, related videos and playlists, and soon link to your website directly from your TrueView video ad. For information about how to enable cards in your campaigns, visit our Help Center.
Cards also provide a platform to bring you additional features that make TrueView a more actionable format. Throughout this year, we’ll roll out specialized cards that cater to specific use cases, a process we started with TrueView for app promotion last year.
Optimizing for viewer actions
TrueView is built on the notion that when someone chooses to watch your video, they have stronger intent and interest for your brand. For that reason, we only count a view when someone shows an intent to watch. Now, with greater interactivity signals, we can go a step further and enable you to to optimize for viewer actions. In addition to counting a view when someone watches an ad, we will also count a view when viewers click on a card or other elements of your in-stream creative, as we believe this is a strong indication that they are interested and engaged. We’ll bill for these click interactions, similar to what we currently do for TrueView for app promotion campaigns. As always, we’ll only charge when a view is counted and will bill for either the full view or click (but not both). This change will roll out to all TrueView in-stream ads in May.
New click behavior for in-stream
To ensure you only pay for deliberate clicks on your video ads, we’re also changing where you can click on in-stream ads. Formerly clicking anywhere on the player would register a click; now only clicks to cards or CTAs, the video header, companion banner or a link at the bottom of the player will count as a click.
To take a stroll down memory lane for TrueView’s fifth anniversary, check out our Agency blog post.
Avi Fein, Product Manager, AdWords for video
JR Futrell, Product Manager, YouTube Ads
Jim Habig, Product Marketing Manager, YouTube Ads