YouTube is bringing 30-second unskippable ads to its TV apps

The website is also launching 'pause experiences' with interactive ads.

Nico De Pasquale Photography via Getty Images

If you watch YouTube videos primarily on your TV, you may soon come across 30-second ads you won't be able to skip, just like commercials on traditional TV channels. The video platform has announced during its Brandcast event for advertisers that it's bringing 30-second unskippable ads to connected TVs. It will make the option available through YouTube Select, which is a targeting option open to eligible clients who want to reach the audiences of the website's most popular channels.

YouTube says 70 percent of Select impressions land on TVs, so the new format will give advertisers the chance to show more of their services or products in a way that allows "for richer storytelling." If you already regularly see two 15-second ads consecutively, then the new format wouldn't make that much of a difference for you — unless they show up more frequently, of course. The format is now generally available in the US and Canada and will expand worldwide later this year.

In addition to introducing longer non-skips, YouTube is also bringing "pause experiences" to connected TVs as an experiment. Pause experiences are ads that show up when you hit pause on what you're watching, similar to the promos Hulu launched in 2019. They're expected to be highly visual and even interactive, and they could include QR codes you can scan to perhaps visit the brands' website or social media channels. In the image below, for instance, you'll see an ad encouraging you to scan a QR code to get a 15 percent discount.

A screenshot of what YouTube's Pause experiences will look like.
A screenshot of what YouTube's Pause experiences will look like. (YouTube)