YouTube Teases 6-Second Pre-Roll Ads You Can't Skip

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YouTubers are accustomed to pre-roll ads, or commercials that run before your desired video. Mercifully, most of these videos allow viewers to skip the ad after a few seconds, which is good for you, but not so much for the advertiser.

So Google is offering up a new ad format, known as Bumpers, which keeps pre-roll ads short at just six seconds. It will force advertisers to experiment with brevity, but viewers won't be allowed to skip. Look for them to start rolling out in May.

"We like to think of Bumper ads as little haikus of video ads—and we're excited to see what the creative community will do with them," Google Product Manager Zach Lupei wrote in a blog post.

Bumpers, YouTube said, are "built for mobile" because "even in the living room, many people prefer to watch on their smartphone—for the control, personalization and ease it offers. And as viewing habits change, we are working to introduce new formats adapted to these habits."

Atlantic Records tested the new platform during the launch of English band Rudimental's second record. The quick hits "each gave a short sharp insight into a featured artist and individual track on the album," Fiona Byers, senior marketing manager of Atlantic Records/Warner Music Group, said in a statement.

Audi Germany also cut a 45-second ad into individual serialized clips to introduce the Q-series SUVs through a number of German "q" words like "querpass" (cross kick) and "quantensprung" (quantum leap).

Last year, Twitter's Vine bought Niche to turn its own six-second video stars into advertisers.

In the meantime, YouTube this week rolled out a redesigned, simpler Home screen on iOS and Android.

"We've coupled a fresh design with more relevant personalized recommendations that make it easier to discover videos you'll be excited to watch," YouTube said in a separate blog post. "The new recommendation system is based on deep neural network technology, which means it can find patterns automatically and keep learning and improving as it goes."

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