YouTube is experimenting with displaying advertisements during video pauses.

YouTube is trying out putting ads on when you stop a movie.


Soon, YouTube could give people another reason to subscribe to its ad-free service, or it could make them so mad that they stop watching altogether. YouTube talked about new “pause ads” for smart TVs at its Brandcast meeting in the spring of 2023. These are ads that play in the middle of what a person is watching when they stop it, as the name suggests. “Your paused video will shrink to make room for an ad,” says the Times of India.

During Google’s most recent earnings call, Philipp Schindler, SVP and chief business officer, said that early testing in Q1 showed “strong traction.” The executive also said that pause ads are “commanding premium pricing from advertisers” and “driving strong brand lift results,” which is likely a sign that they will soon be used by more people.

YouTube tried to make the “non-interruptive” ad style seem like it was less annoying than regular ads, but some people don’t believe them. Most of the time, I stop at a show to answer the phone or talk to someone who just walked in. At that moment, the last thing I want is a surprise commercial that might make me do something else. Do pause ads play video and/or sound? Do I need to pause them or just press the “mute” button?

What about ads that play while I leave the room to get something to eat or go to the bathroom? Those are fine, right? In that case, the ad is useless because no one is paying attention to it. YouTube does make money from ads, but sponsors won’t stay with a business that loses money for long.

BERLIN, GERMANY – JUNE 07: Symbolic photo: Logo of the video platform YouTube on June 07, 2023 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

It will be interesting to see if and how ad blockers handle the ads that play when you stop YouTube. For most of the last year, Google and ad blocker providers have been at odds with each other. With this new project coming up, it doesn’t look like either side will back down any time soon.

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