YouTube’s pay per unclick

YouTube has announced a rather counterintuitive ad model which encourages users to skip over ads. TrueView video ads play :15- or :30-second prerolls to YouTube’s video content; after 5 seconds, an icon appears inviting the user to skip the ad. Advertisers only pay if users don’t avoid the ad and instead watch the preroll to completion — call it “pay per unclick” — with the logic being marketers will reach consumers truly interested in the product.

The flaw, of course, is since this is entirely new, users may not understand the skip option immediately, so early advertisers may pay for people who aren’t interested but don’t know enough to avoid the ad. Still, we like it. If you do, please skip ahead.

Image: Mitchell Joyce

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