YouTube’s new audio ads were designed for music and podcast fans

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YouTube has launched a new ad format that gives brands a way to use audio as the primary means to communicate their message. In the video-sharing platform’s announcement, it said the new format was designed to target audiences that use the website for “ambient listening.” In other words, if you access YouTube — the main service and not YouTube Music — to listen to music and podcast in the background, you’ll soon come across ads that may seem like they were made for the radio or for services like Spotify. “Think: If I close my eyes, I can still clearly understand what this ad is about,” YouTube explains.

According to Variety, these audio-first advertisements will be around 15 seconds long. They’ll still come with a visual component, but they’ll only be still images or simple animation. The new format is still in beta, but it’s been in alpha testing for months. YouTube says “more than 75 percent of measured audio ad campaigns on YouTube drove a significant lift in brand awareness.”

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