The YouTube platform has proven to be fertile ground for digital marketers, reportedly driving $9 billion worth of ad revenue in 2015 alone. While the massive video-sharing site provides marketers with a wide range of advertising options, particularly two formats, TrueView and Pre-roll, are the most effective in terms of budget-friendliness and audience targeting. This post from MiniTool Video Converter will focus on what YouTube TrueView is, what YouTube Pre-roll is, and YouTube TrueView vs Pre-roll.
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What Is YouTube TrueView?

TrueView ads are available in three formats: In-Stream, Bumper, and Video Discovery. Here’s a quick breakdown of each:

  • In-Stream ads are essentially the same as the Pre-roll format, with one key exception: These ads allow users to skip the ad once it has played for at least 5 seconds. Advertisers pay only when the audience watches the ad for a minimum of 30 seconds or to the end of the ad, whichever is shorter, or if the audience clicks another element of the in-stream creative.
  • Bumper ads are only 6 seconds long. Although they are unskippable, beta testing revealed that lasting only 1 second longer than the skip point of In-Stream ads doesn’t have the adverse effect of longer non-skippable ads. The simplicity of these ads appeals to the expanding number of smartphone video viewers.
  • Video Discovery ads will appear on YouTube search pages or next to other YouTube videos, for example, in the sidebar section “Suggested Videos.” You also have the option of displaying the ads on external websites through the Google Display Network. Advertisers only pay when users decide to watch the video by clicking your ad.
What Is YouTube TrueView? Types of TrueView Ads You Should Know
What Is YouTube TrueView? Types of TrueView Ads You Should Know

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What Is YouTube Pre-Roll?

Pre-roll ads, as the name suggests, are video ads that appear before a typical YouTube video begins. These ads are often 15 seconds, 30 seconds, or 60 seconds long and are not skippable, thus audiences must wait until the commercial has finished playing before they can watch the video of their choice. Advertisers only pay when users click on the ad.

In terms of targeting, advertisers can narrow their audience by demographics, geography, interests, language, and topics. If targeting by topic, you can place ads that are extremely related to the video that a user is currently watching, which makes the match more likely to grab the user’s attention. If targeting by interest, you can show ads to an audience that are related to a specific category of videos that users tend to watch, even if they are watching anything else at the time.

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YouTube TrueView vs Video Pre-Roll – Which One Is Better?

When it comes to YouTube TrueView vs Pre-roll, this section will give you some information to help you make an informed choice.

78% of TrueView In-Stream advertisements are skipped by the user, according to German marketing firm CaptchaAd. That means you can expect roughly 20% of the target demographic to watch your ad the entire time when you are budgeting for TrueView impressions.

Interestingly, research suggests that although Pre-roll ads have a bigger impact depending on the total amount of impressions served, TrueView ads have a significant advantage over Pre-roll concerning paid impressions, generating 2.8 times more efficacy in terms of audience engagement and impact.

Furthermore, Pre-roll advertisements often have a higher cost-per-click than TrueView advertisements, and inventory levels for Pre-roll advertisements are typically lower, meaning that the most coveted ad placements, on channels or videos, will typically come at a premium.

Finally, the YouTube Pre-roll vs TrueView choice you should make will largely depend on your campaign goals. Keep in mind that by using Pre-roll ads, you are paying for a certain user action, whereas TrueView ads mainly provide brand awareness and users’ attention span (if only for a little duration), but not necessarily a click to your website.

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Bottom Line

Read the YouTube TrueView vs Pre-roll comparison above and take some time to define your ad campaign’s goals and objectives, so you can determine which format is best for your business.

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