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Google’s Chrome browser to block ‘intrusive’ ads around videos


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Google’s Chrome browser will soon stop showing videos that include certain kinds of ads, and the policy will affect YouTube as well as other websites.

The changes are outlined in a blog post from Google describing “three ad experiences that people find to be particularly disruptive on video content that is less than 8 minutes long”.

They include long, non-skippable pre-roll ads “longer than 31 seconds that appear before a video and that cannot be skipped within the first 5 seconds”; mid-roll ads of any duration that appear in the middle of a video; and image or text ads overlaid on videos that “are in the middle 1/3 of the video player window or cover more than 20 percent of the video content”.

From August this year, Chrome will “stop showing all ads on sites in any country that repeatedly show these disruptive ads” – and the blog post specifically pointed out that “YouTube·com, like other websites with video content, will be reviewed for compliance with the Standards” (those standards having been externally set by a group called Coalition for Better Ads, whose members include Google, Facebook and ad-industry body the Interactive Advertising Bureau).

What might all this mean for music videos, the vast majority of which are shorter than eight minutes? Perhaps not much: YouTube’s ad formats are largely compliant already with the new standards: skippable pre-rolls for example.

Stuart Dredge

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