Google is bringing skippable video ads to online games. Calling the TrueView ad format among its most successful to date, Google is now supporting the in-stream video ads for game publishers on the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, AdSense for games, and select publishers on AdMob.
"For advertisers, reaching users across screens and in different environments is one pain point, they want to be able to reach their audiences effectively using one platform. For publishers, they've constantly told us that they want the ability to tap into a large pool of demand from all advertisers, including video advertisers," notes Rebecca Illowsky, product manager responsible for games monetization at Google.
"We work with many advertisers who already know and like the TrueView format and want to reach a gamer audience. Now we can connect them to businesses looking to fund their game development," she says.
Viewers can close the TrueView ads that Google sells on an auction basis after five seconds or once the ad concludes. Meanwhile, advertisers only have to pay Google after users view the ad in its entirety.
"We think this ad is not just game-friendly, but user-friendly overall since users only watch the ads that are actually of interest. The TrueView video ad format leads the way in aligning the interests of publishers, advertisers and the user," says Illowsky. "We also expect that opening up the TrueView video ad format to games will result in better monetization and fill rates for games publishers."
Indeed, the expansion of TrueView comes on the heels of a recent study from Google that concludes YouTube is a ripe and engaging platform for brands to market and reach online gamers.
"TrueView has proven to be an incredibly effective format for publishers. We're looking to make it available to as many publishers as possible. This is part of that effort," adds Illowsky. "And on the advertiser side, the audiences who play online games are very much in demand as well."
According to Google, TrueView video ads offer lower abandonment rates and greater monetization compared to typical in-stream video ads. Another research study commissioned by Google on the rise of viewer choice found that people who watch a skippable TrueView pre-roll ad are 75 percent more engaged than users who encounter a standard pre-roll video ad.
The skippable ads deliver about 50 percent more attention overall, as viewers choose not to skip an ad anywhere from 15 to 45 percent of the time, according to Google. The company also boasts that the effective cost-per-thousand impressions for skippable ads grew more than twice as fast as the rate for standard in-stream ads in 2012.
Google expects TrueView to work especially well for online games, and it expects game publishers to make their format decisions based on cost and the needs of users, advertisers and publishers alike, Illowsky says. Formats available to online game publishers now include images, text overlays, interstitial or standard video ads, and TrueView ads.