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YouTube is bringing a big, ugly ad banner to its TV app's home screen (updated)

The content you want to see will be pushed out of the way.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 18, 2019
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Your living room YouTube experience is about to become decidedly more cluttered. YouTube is bringing its usual Masthead ad to its TV app's home screen, guaranteeing that you'll see a promo before anything else. While the behavior is similar to what you've seen on mobile and the web, the size... well, just look at it. More than half of the home screen can be occupied by advertising, and you'll have to scroll down just to see the titles for your recommendations.

The TV ad banner is currently in beta, and it's not clear how quickly it will become visible worldwide.

We've asked YouTube for comment. With that said, it isn't shy about its sales pitch. This puts advertisers "front and center" in YouTube's TV app, and helps marketers reach people who are "increasingly cutting the cord." The problem, as you might have guessed, is that it hurts the experience for viewers used to simply launching the videos they want to see.

Update 9/18 7:20PM ET: In a statement, YouTube said it was "focused on building a great, leaned back experience" and suggested that you could "quickly navigate away" using "just a single click of the remote." You'll always have that extra step to get away from the ad, then.

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