YouTube trialling ads that play when you are not watching videos, Google boss says

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

YouTube is trialling ads that play while users are not watching videos, an executive has said.

Those trials have yielded positive results, Google revealed – suggesting they could be rolled out more broadly.

The news came as Google released its latest quarter’s results, which showed positive performance. The company’s shares surged as it revealed it would pay money back to investors.

In the first quarter of the year, “we saw strong traction from the introduction of a pause ads pilot on connected TVs, a new non-interruptive ad format that appears when users pause their organic content,” said Google’s Philipp Schindler during parent company Alphabet’s earnings call.

“Initial results show that pause ads are driving strong brand lift results and are commanding premium pricing from advertisers,” he said.

He gave no information about when they might roll out more broadly, or any confirmation that they definitely would.

YouTube discussed its pause ads last year, when it said it would bring them to connected TVs. When a video is paused on a smart television, the video shrinks and an ad shows next to it.

Google’s results showed growing revenues in its YouTube ads more generally, with an increase of 21 per cent year-on-year.

YouTube offers a subscription service, YouTube Premium, which allows viewers to hide all ads.

At the same time, it has been looking to push ad-blocking apps to allow ads on YouTube. Last week, in a post on its help forum, it said that it would be “strengthening our enforcement” against such apps.

In an attempt to stop that, YouTube may show buffering issues or other error messages while trying to load a video through such apps. “We want to emphasize that our terms don’t allow third-party apps to turn off ads because that prevents the creator from being rewarded for viewership, and Ads on YouTube help support creators and let billions of people around the world use the streaming service,” it said.