YouTube now counts ‘engagement’ for YouTube for action ads at 10 seconds, not 30

October 15, 2018

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YouTube announced it is changing the attribution criteria for TrueView for action video ads. TrueView for action ads are designed for performance advertisers and feature call-to-action banners at the base of the video ads.

What’s changing? There are two key attribution points that are changing:

  • YouTube will now count an ‘Engagement’ whenever a user clicks or watches 10 seconds or more of a TrueView for action ad when using maximize conversions or target CPA bidding. That’s a change from 30 seconds.
  • A ‘Conversion’ will be counted, by default, when a user takes action on an ad within 3 days of an ‘Engagement.’ If you want this changed, you will have to ask your Google rep to customize this time frame. That’s a change from 30 days.
  • For users who click your ad, YouTube will still attribute conversions according to the conversion window you have set (the default is 30 days).

Why the change? YouTube says it is changing the default attribution window from 30 seconds and 30 days to 10 seconds and 3 days to better reflect “the relationship between video ad exposure and conversions.”

Nicky Rettke, YouTube group product manager, wrote, “We conducted large-scale experiments to analyze the incremental conversion volume driven by TrueView for action ads across a broad range of advertiser industries and conversion types.”

What it means for advertisers? The shorter engagement-to-conversion window will mean faster ramp up times for target CPA campaigns and more current reporting, says Google.

However, advertisers are charged on an engagement basis for TrueView ads. Importantly, this change also means advertisers will be charged after a user watches 10 seconds rather than 30 seconds of your ad. Advertisers will need to monitor their TrueView for action campaigns closely to understand the impact of this change on their budgets and performance.


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