Building a better streaming experience with fewer ad breaks and more

December 14, 2023

For nearly a year, YouTube has been the most-watched streaming service in America according to Nielsen

Every day, viewers turn to YouTube for an always-on, always-fresh library of content—whether it's from the world's top creators, music videos, NFL Sunday Ticket, or free-to-watch movies and shows. YouTube offers everything people love in one place, on every screen.

As the way viewers watch YouTube evolves, we're adding even more new features to make the streaming experience more helpful for viewers and advertisers.

Fewer ad breaks

Viewers expect a different ad experience depending on the content they are watching. When it comes to long-form content on TV screens, 79% of viewers would prefer video ads that are grouped together instead of distributed throughout a video.1

Based on this preference, we evaluated fewer, longer ad breaks, to create a more seamless viewing experience on the big screen. In early testing of fewer, longer ad breaks on connected TVs, over half of YouTube CTV streamers experienced 29% longer viewing sessions before their next ad break.2

Gif of an ad with a note "Fewer ad breaks for this long video"

Now, users across the globe will be able to experience these improvements on certain long-form content on connected TVs.

Our research also shows a majority of viewers prefer knowing the total time remaining in the ad break versus the number of ads being served. With this launch, viewers will also see the time left until the break ends or they can skip to the content. Expect to see these changes roll out soon.

Shorts ads for the big screen

A little more than a year ago, we brought YouTube Shorts to the big screen.

Since then, we’ve seen viewership explode. Globally, views of YouTube Shorts on connected TVs have grown by more than 100% from January to September 2023.3 

To help brands more easily reach their audience wherever they are watching Shorts, we’re launching Shorts ads globally on CTVs.

The viewer experience for Shorts ads on connected TVs is consistent with mobile, and viewers can use their TV remote to click away from ads just as they would with any other Short.

Advertisers can seamlessly tap into Shorts ads in the living room through Video reach campaigns, Video view campaigns, and Shorts-specific campaigns including YouTube Select Shorts, First Position on Shorts, and Trending Music on Shorts

YouTube provides viewers with nearly limitless ways to connect and explore their passions—from traditional culture and content to the rich, eclectic creator culture and original content that you can’t get anywhere else. We're excited to keep listening to customers and building a more modern, streamlined CTV ad experience for viewers and advertisers.

Posted by Romana Pawar, Director, Product Management, YouTube Ads


1. Google/YouTube via Qualtrics, U.S., Deep Ad Pod Messaging Survey, n=312 adults, Aug. 2022
2. Google/YouTube, Internal Data, Oct. 2023 
3. Google/YouTube, Internal Data, Jan. - Sep. 2023 

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