Snapchat follows YouTube's lead with extended unskippable ads

The messaging app has unveiled a new format that apes YouTube's TrueView proposition

Snapchat will now let brands buy unskippable ads that go beyond their current six-second time limit, giving longer pieces of creative the chance to reach more eyeballs within its walls.

The messaging app has unveiled a new format that apes YouTube's TrueView proposition. Dubbed 'extended play commercials,' the media buy expands on the 100% in-view, unskippable six-second ad format Snap started testing on back in May 2018.

These longer video ads maintain an initial six-second non-skip portion, then after the first unskippable six seconds an ad can continue running (up to three minutes in total) while users will be able to skip at any time.

Where YouTube's unskippable formats typically run pre-roll, Snap's run mid-roll in its premium Discover section.

Snapchat is pitching the rollout as another way in which it's offering brands flexibility for video ads. Though users may see longer ads, it's understood the business wants to make it easier for brands to repurpose spots they've already cut (like 15-second clippings) and drop them in the app.

David Roter, vice-president of global agency partnerships at Snap said it was committed to building "high-impact, long-form video ad formats," saying extended play commercials were "a great option" for online video and TV buyers.

"Heading into the holidays, this format is a powerful new way to reach our Gen Z and millennial audience in Snapchat's premium, brand safe Discover content," he added.

In the UK, brands like EE and Mars have already been trialling Snap's unskippable formats.

Last month, the tech business unveiled a dynamic ad format that lets brands automatically create ads in real-time based on their own product catalogue.

Snap had been trying to open up further revenue streams, with its ad business having turned a corner in October to hit 203 million daily active users; an increase of 8% on July last year. Revenues were up too, with a 48% bump to reach $388m in Q2 this year.

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