Nothing makes you say, “Gah…” quite like getting the 15 second ad on YouTube that you can’t skip.

It’s short enough that it’s usually not worth the time to switch away – unless it’s really annoying or you have a lot of ADD tendencies.

So you watch it even though it takes 3 times as long as your 5 second skip.

That makes it a good option for you if you’re advertising something.

But unless you’re investing a huge amount of money, you don’t get those 15 second ads – even if your ad is 15 seconds.

And if you have a 15 second ad that isn’t guaranteed to play all the way through, you’re paying a ton of money for people to skip them!

Here’s why:

When You Pay For YouTube Ads

When you run an ad on YouTube, you only pay if the user watches to at least half of the video.

So if you have a 60 second video, you’ll only pay if they choose to watch past 30 seconds.

If they skip at 29 seconds, you don’t pay. If they skip at 31 seconds, you pay. (TBH, I’m not sure what happens at 30 seconds – probably pay…)

They still can’t skip until after 5 seconds, though.

But here’s an interesting thought:

If you’re running a 15 second ad, if someone watches past 7 seconds, you’re paying – even if they were just 3 seconds late to skipping.

Lots of people still flip away for a couple of seconds while ads start. Your ad may be playing and they don’t care one bit about it and aren’t paying attention. They come back after a few seconds and skip the ad.

If you had a 60 second ad, no harm, no foul. You don’t pay if they skip a few seconds after the 5 second mark. They have to make it past 30 seconds in order for you to pay.

But do you see where I’m going with a 15 second ad?

You’re going to pay a lot of the time because someone is just a few seconds late to skipping.

This is why 15 second ads, unless bought in bulk in a deal with YouTube, are not good for YouTube advertising.

I made this mistake early on and thought tons of people were watching my ads. They weren’t.

I swapped in 30 second cuts of the same ads and the views plummeted – but so did the amount I was paying.

I don’t mind paying for ads that people are interested in, but ones where they were just late to skipping? No thanks.

photo credit: taestell via photopin cc