Did you think that we weren’t going to see ads on the homepage of YouTube’s mobile app? With 41% of YouTube traffic coming from mobile, you better believe that the Google-owned video site was going to find a way to place ads front and center.
First spotted by Richard Greenfield of BTIG, it seems that YouTube is adapting its homepage masthead ad unit to mobile. The masthead as we know it, currently sits at the top of the YouTube homepage and plays muted video ads (mine is for Greek yogurt right now). It’s one of the most notable parts of YouTube advertising, as it is the first thing many users see when jumping on to the site.
Now, YouTube is adapting that same formula to its mobile apps. While the masthead cannot be nearly as large as the one featured at the browser site, according to a video uploaded by BTIG, the masthead ad sits at the top of YouTube’s “What to Watch” tab as a playable video. The video ad does not seem to play automatically as the ones on the browser site do, but it is clearly marked with a yellow tab that indicates it’s an advertisement.
Greenfield points out that the first ad, which can now no longer be seen on the mobile app, was for the Fox show “Almost Human.” Reportedly, the ad generated around 130,000 views in one day alone. Of course, it’s still unclear whether that specific video ad unit was shown to every mobile user or just a select group.
The redesigned mobile ad unit was confirmed by a YouTube spokesperson, who told ReelSEO that, “We created a video masthead unit that makes it easier for advertisers to run homepage takeovers on YouTube across devices.” Since it was first spotted, it seems that the mobile masthead unit has been removed from YouTube’s app.