YouTube is experimenting with a new approach to displaying ads to its viewers. In addition to the usual pre-, during- and post-video ads, YouTube is now experimenting with paused video advertisements with the goal of boosting engagement and ad income.

Trialing ads on paused videos

The parent company of YouTube, Google, claims that the outcomes of these experiments are encouraging. During Alphabet’s earnings call, Google CEO Philipp Schindler stated that the implementation of pause advertising on linked TVs has proven to be effective.

“In Q1, we saw strong traction from the introduction of a Pause Ads pilot on connected TVs. This is a new non-interruptive ad format that appears when users pause their organic content. Initial results show that Pause Ads are driving strong brand lift results and are commanding attention.”

Will YouTube roll out these ads globally?

Given the reported success of the ads, it’s likely we will see this new type of ad rolled out more widely. But how do the ads work? While the video is paused, these ads fill the screen. In order to continue viewing, users must click the “dismiss” button. This tactic mimics Hulu’s practice of showing ads when a video is paused. While increasing ad impressions, this new type of ad inherently makes YouTube’s Premium ad-free subscription service more enticing to viewers.

Regardless, viewers might react negatively to this ad placement change, especially if they are sensitive to too many ads or are used to ad-free experiences. However, if this experiment will show great results, YouTube says it may start implementing pause advertising throughout the entire platform. So far, there is no word on how these new ads will affect creators’ AdSense payouts, if it affects it at all.