Posted August 24, 2012 11:36 am by with 0 comments

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In what sounds like a contrarian action, YouTube is allowing viewers to skip pre-roll ads on mobile videos after 5 seconds and doesn’t make it to the end of the ad. If the user does that the advertiser doesn’t pay.

This seems contrarian because most would say that no matter how the ad is served or for how long there is value to the advertiser so they should pay. Nice thought but YouTube gets that the user experience trumps that and will ultimately help them make even more money from advertisers.

According to AdAge

YouTube is bringing its skippable video ads to mobile phones and tablets, hoping to build on the success the company says the ads have found with PCs.

Viewers using desktop and laptop computers can skip YouTube’s video ads, dubbed “TrueView,” after five seconds. Advertisers only pay if a viewer watches it for 30 seconds or completion, whichever comes first. The operating theory for YouTube is that advertisers will pay more to reach a viewer who has chosen to watch an ad.

So how can YouTube afford to do this? It’s simple: scale. The scale of YouTube in terms of the inventory it carries and how many videos it serves blows everything else in the space away. As a result they can let a lot of people go and simply get more for the people who don’t.

Oh and why Android only? All Things D points this out

-For now, the only mobile devices where you’ll see the ads will be on Google’s Android devices.

-Google would love to show these ads on the iPhone, but it can’t, because the Apple-built YouTube app that’s on there now doesn’t have any ads at all.

-Which is yet another reason why Google isn’t complaining about Apple’s YouTube app going away, to be replaced by a Google-built one that will show ads.

There is a serious amount of jockeying occurring as we approach Apple’s new product announcement season. Things are going to change significantly with iOS 6 and Apple’s continued moves to create another form of a walled garden where they use less and less third party tools for iOS apps. Really it looks like they are just aiming at Google for this kind of thing, don’t you think?

Question for you. If Google did what Apple is doing there would be cries from every mountaintop and every pseudo watchdog group (yes, I meant FairSearch) that Google was being anti-competitive. Why don’t we hear this about Apple considering their position as THE mobile device gold standard?

Any thoughts?