YouTube is killing the overlay ad format next month

YouTube is killing the overlay ad format next month
Mar 2023

Here's something you don't see everyday: fewer ads on YouTube. Well, fewer ad formats, at least. YouTube's latest forum post says the company will be doing away with "Overlay ads" on YouTube videos. These are the old-school banner ads that pop up over the video player, obstructing the view of whatever you were trying to watch.

YouTube says the ads are going away on April 6, calling them a "legacy ad format." The ads only worked on desktop, the company said, and they "are disruptive for viewers." Now the only ads in the video player will be video ads that can play before, in the middle of, or after a video. The "view product" pop-up ad is also allowed, and there will still be banner ads in the recommended video list.

The company says it expects to see "limited impact for most Creators as engagement shifts to other ad formats." Ads are annoying for viewers, but creators often only get paid if certain ad thresholds are met. Seeing the overlay ad wasn't necessarily enough for a creator to earn money--advertisers could choose to only pay if a user clicked on the ad, so there was a high chance nobody was actually getting paid from these pop-ups. Video ads with a "skip" button also don't pay out if users click the skip button.

Listing image by Jericho / Ron Amadeo