Google TV’s free streaming channels look set to get unskippable ads in the future

Google TV’s free streaming channels look set to get unskippable ads in the future

Great news for anyone who’s sat through the non-skippable ads on YouTube and thought, “Man, I really wish I could have this unpleasant experience on my TV”: Google is going to answer your prayers by bringing compulsory ads to free content on Google TV-powered accessories and smart TVs. 

The ads are coming as part of a brand new advertising network called the Google TV Network, and it’ll be coming to a wide range of brands that use Google’s TV platform including many well known names such as Sony, Hisense and TCL. The platform currently reaches over 20 million active users each month across not just Google TV devices but also Android hardware and Chromecast. 

The Google TV Network will be bringing its ads to the built-in streaming channels that Google TV provides. 

What do Google’s ad plans mean for your Google TV experience?

The new advertising formats include non-skippable in-video ads like the ones every YouTube viewer loves so much, as well as mandatory “bumpers” that play before or after a video and that can last for up to six seconds. Google promises that more ad formats are coming in the not too distant future.

The ads are coming to free channels, known as FAST (Free Ad-Supported Television), which means we can’t really complain: the ads are mentioned right there in the category, and it’s what pays for the content to be delivered without charge to you. 

The FAST sector is growing very quickly, especially in the US: according to Google, the US users of its free Google TV channels watch on average 75 minutes of shows a day. That’s about two Columbos or Murder She Wrotes. As of late 2023, one in three US viewers subscribed to some FAST services; Amazon‘s Freevee was the fastest-growing but Pluto, Tubi, Roku and others’ FAST offerings were also growing, er, fast. That adoption has no doubt been helped by streaming services’ price hikes: with the cost of streaming soaring, ad-funded free channels look much more tempting.

And the nature of FAST means that the new ad platform might not be too intrusive. FAST channels generally offer fairly low-quality content that’s heavy on the re-runs, shows that were usually structured for networks that already put ad breaks in every show. And it tends to be the kind of TV you have on in the background while you do something else, so the ads probably won’t be as annoying as they are in more premium products *cough* Prime Video *cough*.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *