- Google's Chrome web browser on Aug. 5 will stop showing all ads on sites that repeatedly have "disruptive" video ads, as defined by new standards from the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA), the search giant announced in a blog post. Google is a member of the nonprofit group that aims to improve the quality of digital ads.
- The group's Better Ads Standard covers short-form video ads that aren't acceptable to consumers and are most likely to push them to install ad blockers. The CBA developed the standard based on its research that included more than 45,000 consumers in eight countries, per an announcement.
- The standard will apply to ads appearing in online videos that are eight minutes or less and restrict mid-roll ads, pre-roll ads or pods longer than 31 seconds that can't be skipped in the first five seconds, as well as non-linear display ads that are in the middle third of videos or make up more than 20% of the video content, per the announcement.
Google's Chrome browser has an estimated market share of 70% on desktop computers and 60% of mobile devices worldwide, making it a key gateway to the internet for billions of people. That means marketers and website publishers need to ensure their video ad placements comply with industry standards. Google joined the CBA two years ago and started blocking display ads that didn't comply with the group's standards. With its announcement this week, Google plans to extend that compliance to follow the CBA's new standards for short-form video ads.
The search giant has a vested interest in ensuring consumers have a positive online experience, considering that the company derives most of its revenue from online advertising. Digital video ad sales are a key growth area, as Google's parent company Alphabet revealed earlier this week. As part of its quarterly earnings report, Alphabet for the first time disclosed the revenue history for YouTube, the video platform with more than 2.26 billion users worldwide. The popular video-sharing site's revenue rose 36% to $15.1 billion in 2019 from a year earlier, outpacing Google's growth in search ads. Google's dominance in digital advertising has led growing antitrust scrutiny of its online ad tools that bring together buyers and sellers of digital media, The Wall Street Journal reported this week.
Meanwhile, marketers have significantly boosted their spending on digital video ads with the shift in consumer habits from linear TV to other content platforms, including websites like Google's YouTube. Programmatic video ad spending in the U.S. was forecast to rise 20% to $34.9 billion this year from 2019, eMarketer estimated last year. A separate study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that the average advertiser participating in last year's NewFronts upfront marketplace for digital video planned to boost spending by 25% to $18 million. CBA compliance is a must to support video ad growth and forestall the broader use of ad blockers, especially by consumers who want to prevent data-heavy video ads from draining their mobile data plans.