Listening to music on YouTube should be a lot more painless in future.
YouTube is getting rid of one of its most annoying features: unskippable 30-second video ads.
As The Verge reports, the 30-second ads will be ditched from 2018, with the company saying that it wanted to “focus on formats that work well for both users and advertisers.”
YouTube’s decision to remove 30-second ads doesn’t mean that ads are going away entirely. Ads with a duration of 15 and 20 seconds will remain, and it’s expected that the 30-second format will be replaced by its new six-second “bumper ad” format. These were introduced last year, and are designed to go better with shorter videos, which are increasingly being watched on mobile devices.
The money that YouTube makes from advertising has attracted criticism from musicians in the past. In June 2016, Trent Reznor said that the company was “built on the backs of free, stolen content.”
YouTube rejected Reznor’s claims, saying that most labels and publishers have licensing agreements to earn money from fan videos. “Any assertion that this content is largely unlicensed is false. To date, we have paid out over $3 billion to the music industry–and that number is growing year on year,” the company said.
In December 2016, YouTube reported that it had paid $1 billion to the music industry through advertising. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry challenged those claims, arguing services such as Spotify and Apple Music had raised more for artists.
“With 800 million music users worldwide, YouTube is generating revenues of just over US$1 per user for the entire year,” the IFPI said at the time.