Home Technology Top Stories Business Most Featured Sports Social Issues Animals News Fashion Crypto Featured Music & Pop Culture Travel & Tourism

YouTube Still Wants to Show You Ads Even When You Pause

Author Avatar
By Abi Gibson - - 5 Mins Read
Featured Image
| Shutterstock

During its Brandcast conference in 2023, YouTube announced a new ads feature called "pause ads".

These ads will appear when viewers pause their content on smart TVs, reducing the space available for the paused video to accommodate the ad.

In a recent earnings call, Philipp Schindler, Google's SVP and chief business officer, mentioned that early tests in Q1 showed promising results, with advertisers willing to pay a premium for these ads due to their effectiveness in boosting brand awareness.

This new YouTube ads update aims to provide a less disruptive advertising experience for viewers. However, some users are worried about the potential annoyance of pause ads, especially when pausing to answer calls or interact with others.

It is unclear whether pause ads will play audio or video or if users can mute or skip them. These uncertainties raise questions about how effectively YouTube can balance advertising revenue with user experience.

Despite YouTube's attempt to portray pause ads as non-intrusive, many viewers remain skeptical.

Person streaming videos on a smart television
YouTube | Shutterstock

Unexpected commercials could disrupt users' viewing experience if they are accustomed to pausing content for various reasons, such as taking calls or conversing with others.

The effectiveness of pause ads in capturing viewer attention and driving brand engagement may depend on how seamlessly they integrate with the viewing experience and whether users perceive them as intrusive or helpful.


Also read: Spotting AI-Generated Videos Made Easier With YouTube's New Feature.


The controversy surrounding the new YouTube ads update highlights the ongoing tension between advertising revenue and user experience.

While advertisers may see pause ads as a lucrative opportunity to reach engaged audiences, viewers are concerned about the potential interruption to their viewing habits.

YouTube will need to carefully consider user feedback and preferences as it continues to innovate its advertising strategies to balance the needs of both advertisers and viewers.

Pause ads that play when you leave the room for a snack or restroom break may seem harmless, but they represent wasted advertising opportunities.

Although YouTube earns revenue from these ads, advertisers may not see the value in a model where their messages aren't reaching viewers. If advertisers find pause ads ineffective, it could lead to a short-lived adoption of them.

If YouTube adopts pause ads, it will align with other streaming platforms like Hulu, Max, and Peacock, which have already integrated similar ad formats.

These platforms capitalize on viewers' natural pauses by inserting ads tailored to those moments, such as playful ads for Coca-Cola ("pause that refreshes") or essential items like toilet paper from Charmin.

YouTube has been implementing a more forceful approach to advertising lately, which includes tactics such as unskippable ads on YouTube TV and stricter measures against ad-blockers for free account users.

This strategy is similar to the "calculated misery" method used by airlines and may lead viewers to opt for premium ad-free subscriptions that come at a monthly cost of $13.99.

While less intrusive, especially if you're already pausing for a bathroom break or to answer the door, pause ads still aid YouTube's revenue goals, acknowledging the end of ad-free streaming.

With a $30 billion valuation, YouTube constantly seeks profit avenues. The new YouTube ads update prompts questions about ad blockers' response as Google negotiates with providers, but a resolution seems distant.