YouTube, the popular video-sharing platform, has announced that it will be removing its "Overlay ads" ad format from desktop starting on April 6, 2023.
The announcement was made in a YouTube Help Forum post, where the company explained that this decision was made in order to improve the viewer experience and shift engagement to higher performing ad formats on desktop and mobile devices.
The "Overlay ads" format is a legacy ad format that only served on desktop and was often found to be disruptive for viewers as the banner-style pop-up ads could obscure currently playing content on YouTube.
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.
While the option has been unavailable on the mobile platform for some time, desktop users have continued to experience this format.
YouTube has also confirmed that the removal of the "Overlay ads" option will have a "limited impact" on YouTube Creators as engagement shifts to other ad formats. However, no details have been shared on what these ad formats will be.
From April 6, 2023, the option to activate or add "Overlay ads" from within YouTube Studio when accessing monetization options will no longer be available. Instead, YouTube will focus on other ad formats such as pre, mid, and post-video ads.
The removal of the "Overlay ads" format will greatly benefit desktop viewers as intrusive elements will no longer obscure or clash with video content.
Selected ad-blocking plugins are already capable of blocking such content, and it remains to be seen how this might be replaced.