YouTube Ads Have Increased By Almost 45% in the Last Year

If you feel like you have been seeing more ads on YouTube this year, you’re not imagining things.

A study conducted by the GammaWire analytics team has determined that the average YouTube user in the United States is seeing an almost 45% increase in pre-roll advertisements before the video they selected starts playing.

While some of these ads are skippable after 5 seconds, research by our team has found that this feature to skip ads is also decreasing, leading to more full advertisements.

Study results:

  • Over the last 12 months, the average YouTube user in the United States has seen 43.7% increase in YouTube pre-roll advertisements
  • The number of pre-roll ads that allow for viewers to skip them after five seconds is decreasing
  • Two 15-second ads back-to-back are now becoming more common for most users
  • Digital ad spend has been declining in the past 90 days due to cost-cutting measures being taken by major brands during the recent economic turmoil
  • Because of this, users will likely see an increase in the number of ads they see in order to keep ad revenue and impressions high for advertisers

Advertising impression expansion will be an ongoing trend for the next 18 months

There have been numerous news stories over the last three months suggesting that one cost-cutting measure many brands are taking to weather economic storms has been to cut back on advertising budget. The 2021 ad-spend industry was at an all-time high across digital platforms and while a pullback from the recent froth was expected, it seems likely to expand well beyond a correction into a considerable dip.

Because major platforms that use advertising to monetize, in this case YouTube, consumers should fully expect the number of ads to increase in order to make up for the decrease in advertising spend. In other words, because the total bids being placed on ad space are decreasing, users will see more ads to make up for revenue shortfalls.

Free services will see the biggest increase, but subscriptions are no longer immune

As noted earlier in 2022, Netflix plans to launch an ad-supported tier to help subsidize lower subscription costs. Users are growing more and more wary of increases to subscription plan pricing, forcing brands to experiment with ad-supported tiers that still maintain a monthly fee.

Still, for free users of major platforms, consumers should expect continued ad impression increases. While this might be frustrating for some, many surveyed had some level of understanding that free services require advertisements to allow for there to be no cost to use the product.

Study details:

  • The GammaWire analytics team conducted a study to determine whether or not the number of ads loaded in YouTube pre-roll had been increasing, decreasing, or staying the same over the last 12 months.
  • Results were monitored against survey data of customer perception (e.g., asking users how many had seen two 15 second ads back to back, how many customers noticed a decrease in the ability to skip ads after five seconds).
  • This data was compared against broader market data on advertising spend, determining how much budget has increased or decreased across the digital advertising industry.

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