As social platforms continue to explore and experiment, some ad options go away and others become essential tools for marketing music and entertainment. At Dash Two we have a great deal of experience with key ad networks and social media platforms including YouTube Video Ads, one of the most important channels for reaching music and entertainment fans. So we’re sharing a quick introduction to the YouTube Video Ad formats with which we work on a daily basis.

Types of YouTube Video Ads

Last year Google introduced 6-second YouTube Bumpers. In that case we were able to bring you early news from Google of a major new ad option.

This year they may be doing away with some current options and introducing new ways to reach audiences on YouTube. But sometimes the folks we talk to at Google are themselves unsure of what will happen next. In addition media coverage of such possibilities often involves a bit of smoke and mirrors to grab headlines and views.

Dash Two has a great deal of experience navigating such complex terrain and we think it’s important to share what we’re discovering to make things easier for everyone.

With that in mind, we’ve created a quick guide to current YouTube Video Ad options. In addition, we want to point out which options best fit particular goals while maximizing your ad spend.

Types of YouTube Video Ads

1. TrueView (In-Stream or Discovery/In-Display)

TrueView video ads come in two forms, In-Stream and Discovery also called In-Display.

In-Stream video ads play before the posted YouTube video. In-Display video ads appear as a sponsored suggested video in the top right sidebar above playlists and YouTube suggested videos.

Both In-Stream and In-Display video ads can be any length since the viewer can decide if he or she wishes to keep watching. In addition, In-Stream ads are skippable with “Skip Ad” buttons appearing after 5 seconds.

Both options are pay per view though views are defined differently for each ad type.

For In-Stream ads views are defined as a viewer watching at least 30 seconds or engaging with the video. When videos are shorter than 30 seconds a view occurs if a viewer watches the whole video.

For In-Display ads, a view is registered as soon as a viewer clicks to watch the video.

Though your TrueView video can link to external sites, Dash Two finds that they work best for branding and video views. For example, music videos are an excellent fit for this format.

In addition, the ad platform itself automatically optimizes TrueView video ads for views, not for clicks. So campaigns using TrueView that are focused on clicks tend to be more expensive per click than other ad types.

2. Pre-Roll

Pre-Roll video ads are non-skippable and pay per click.

Though some video publishers have allowed 30-second Pre-Roll videos, that format is reportedly being discontinued. In actual practice, Dash Two is finding that desired publishers are only offering 15 or 20-second videos.

Dash Two recommends 15-second videos since Pre-Roll inventory is limited and 15-second videos are more likely to run.

In addition, given the pay per click pricing, 15-second videos are typically less expensive per click than TrueView in-stream ads leading to more cost-effective campaigns. It is important to optimize for clicks when looking to sell a product such as song downloads or merchandise because it is the first step to getting users to your purchase page.

While TrueView video ads are best for branding and video views, Pre-Roll ads are ideal for sales campaigns from album sales to ticketing to new apparel.

The ad platform optimizes for clicks while Dash Two rigorously tracks ROI to continue optimization from click to sale.

3. Bumpers

Bumpers are 6 seconds long. They are non-skippable like Pre-Roll ads but are pay per view like TrueView ads.

Bumper video ads combine elements of both of the above ad formats but are best suited to branding campaigns as are TrueView videos.

They are also cheaper per view than TrueView ads. In addition, according to a study conducted by Google, they drive a “significant lift in ad recall.”

Like TrueView ads, Bumpers can include a click-through option but are optimized and most effective for views.

Dash Two is finding that Bumpers are underutilized by music and entertainment brands and may represent a missed opportunity for quick, creative branding efforts and teaser campaigns.

Contact Dash Two

We hope the above quick guide gives you a better sense of currently available YouTube Video Ads. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your needs so that we can help you optimize your ad spend based on your sales and branding goals.

Phone: (310) 494-0480
Kim M. Pham

Kim M. Pham

Kim M. Pham is a professional Digital Media Strategist based out of Los Angeles, CA currently working at DASH TWO. Kim has worked closely with clients primarily in the music space on campaigns for some of the world’s biggest country artists, including George Strait, Luke Bryan and Shania Twain. Being on the agency side, Kim works with clients to develop media plans that reach intended audiences and support their respective business objectives. She is responsible for the development and management of digital strategy for client brands.

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