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Following on the footsteps of YouTube’s TrueView ads, Gaana.com now has skippable and non-skippable video ads to users on its platform. Unlike YouTube where the skip ad button pops up after 5 seconds, the skip button on Gaana pops up after 15 seconds, which is half the length of a standard TV commercial. The ads seem to play after every couple of songs on the website.

Why Video Ads?

It is not clear why an audio website would introduce video ads, given that people can listen to Gaana even with the window minimised, but we would guess that there are two reasons: it’s easier to get video ads for the web as opposed to audio ads, and the growth of video advertising  driven by YouTube has allowed Gaana to get a share of that pie (leftovers?). A listener might not watch the video, but will have to hear the audio, so the video part of the ad could be pitched as a value add. Gaana used to have a voiceover that indicated that “you’re listening to gaana.com“, which might have been a placeholder for an audio advertisement, but that probably didn’t work out. Gaana has also had banner ads on its website, but the site being live doesn’t guarantee that the ad is seen. Ads in the stream (video and audio) are more disruptive, hence, better for an advertiser.

15 seconds seems too long to skip an ad, so we wonder why it even has an option to skip. Of course, there are ads on YouTube that run for as long as four minutes, so an option to skip early is still valid. On Gaana, the non-skippable ads didn’t appear to be as long as those on YouTube. On YouTube, brands are charged only if the viewer watches the ad beyond 5 seconds. We had written to Gaana yesterday for a brief interaction regarding the introduction of skippable video ads, and will update in case we hear from them.

Gaana has been expanding its catalogue of music for  a while now. In February last year, the company partnered with the South Indian Music Companies Association (SIMCA) to acquire music from 79 regional labels to expand its catalogue.

The website claims to have over 2 million songs across different genres like Bollywood, regional, devotional, among others. It is not clear if these video ads also play on its mobile app which was launched, early last year.

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