YouTube is ending its overlay ad format, with April 6th slated as its termination date.
The company made the announcement in a blog post:
Starting on April 6th, 2023, the “Overlay ads” ad format will no longer appear on YouTube to help improve the viewer experience and shift engagement to higher performing ad formats on desktop and mobile devices. Overlay ads are a legacy ad format that only served on desktop and are disruptive for viewers. We expect to see limited impact for most Creators as engagement shifts to other ad formats.
As the company highlights, this particular ad format only appeared on the desktop, so the overall impact should be relatively minor.
YouTube recently had a CEO changeover, with long-time CEO Susan Wojcicki resigning to focus on “family, health, and personal projects” she is passionate about. Neal Mohan, YouTube’s Chief Product Officer, is taking over as the company’s new CEO.
While there’s nothing to suggest that the change of CEO is behind the ad format decision, it wouldn’t necessarily be surprising. It’s not uncommon for companies to make changes under new leadership, and it could be that trimming an under-used format is Mohan’s first move.