YouTube’s new Bumper Machine automatically shortens ads

YouTube is testing an automatic Bumper Machine — a new tool that can automatically create a short six-second pre-rolls from footage from longer ads.

It was back in 2016 when YouTube first announced Bumper. Bumper was designed to create ads that are better for users watching YouTube videos on their smartphones. YouTube believed that creating short, six-second ads would be more effective than a longer 30-second ad. For instance, it isn’t very pleasing when you have to sit through a long ad when the video isn’t much longer than the ad itself. This is where shorter ads would come in handy. Instead of just advertising with a long video, advertisers could create a central, long video for their campaigns and then use Bumper to create a shorter ad to reach more viewers.

However, at the time of the announcement of Bumper, many advertisers wondered if they could make an effective ad in just six seconds. Google vice president of YouTube and video global solutions even said that there was a lot of skepticism surrounding the tool.

Bumper in 2019

Fast-forward to 2019, YouTube is working on Bumper Machine. It’s an upgraded version of Bumper that will allow brands to automatically make their ads shorter. It is currently in alpha testing. Once it is finished with alpha, it will go into beta testing. Eventually, it should be released.

The new Bumper Machine should be able to scan a longer ad and determine the key elements of the video. Some key elements may include voice-overs or a close focus on a logo, product or person. Weinstein said it would also likely include “the final call to action in the last two-to-three seconds of the video.”

The new Bumper Machine will be available to all kinds of different advertisers. The brand doesn’t have to be a huge corporation to use it.

However, Weinstein isn’t expecting brands to use the tool right away. She expects there to be human review of what Bumper makes. The machine actually makes four different shortened versions of the original ad, so the brands have more than just one result to choose from.

“You’ll get three to four executions, the best guesses that the machine is going to make,” she said. “A human is going to go through and decide which of the three or four is best, or decide all of them are great, or do some light editing on top of that.”

When will this tool be out?

As said before, the new Bumper Machine is currently in alpha testing. It’s possible we could see it shift into beta testing soon, but its timeline isn’t clear.

Image courtesy

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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