Google Chrome will start blocking certain video ads this summer

Yep, you read that right.

Coalition for Better Ads

Google Chrome, the browser of the biggest online advertising company in the U.S., is going to start blocking video ads. Based on new advertising standards, Chrome won’t run certain pre-roll ads, any mid-roll ads, and intrusive banner ads in video players. The new standards come from the Coalition for Better Ads of which Google is a board member, along with Facebook, Microsoft, News Group, and several international advertising associations. The browser started blocking ads noncompliant with coalition guidelines in 2018.

What’s getting blocked — The new standards apply to short-form videos which are classified as anything under eight minutes in length. Research into ads on these videos covered eight countries and 45,000 consumers representative of 60 percent of global online advertising spending. As a result, the following video ads were denounced:

  • Any mid-roll ads.
  • Pre-roll ads or groups of ads longer than 31 seconds that can’t be skipped within five seconds.
  • Display ads that obscure the middle third of the video player or more than 20 percent of the video.

The Coalition won’t start assessing compliance until June 5, 2020, giving companies a few months to adjust ad campaigns and layouts. Starting on August 5, 2020, Chrome will enforce the guidelines by automatically blocking ads that do not adhere to them.

An intrusive display ad.Coalition for Better Ads

What about YouTube? — YouTube is also expected to comply with the new rules, so in any browser or device, users would no longer see the aforementioned ads. There’s no set timeline yet for YouTube’s adblocking. The company pulled in $15 billion in ad revenue last year, and it’s unclear how these restrictions will impact both YouTube’s and its creators’ bottom lines.

Google will be just fine — It seems like Google is understanding that people are getting creeped out by its stranglehold on digital life. Chrome, in particular, is even trying to find an alternative to cookies. The company’s presence on the board for the Coalition of Better Ads provides some solid virtue signaling, but it also gives the company a head’s up on model-altering changes to ads. With this advanced knowledge, Google remains in a better position than other advertisers to comply with more restrictive guidelines.