Google is aiming to improve the quality of ad-supported content in its Google Preferred program by adding inventory from YouTube TV, a streaming service that packages a host of popular TV channels.
Adding TV inventory will likely appease some advertisers who are still concerned about the quality of YouTube content. Over the past year many brands have discovered their ads had appeared alongside videos deemed unsafe or controversial. Google Preferred, which includes content from the most popular 5% of YouTube channels, has not been immune from brand safety controversies.
The move to add premium TV content will be part of Google’s pitch to marketers on Thursday as part of the annual digital ad sales season known as the NewFronts. During the weeklong event companies such as Vice, Oath and Twitter make presentations to marketers in an attempt to secure advertising commitments for their upcoming slates of programming.
The firms are also trying to lure in TV ad dollars just weeks ahead of the annual TV “Upfronts,” when TV networks preview new programming for the coming season and year.
Adding more premium content to Google Preferred is the latest step by Google to bolster its service. It has already adopted stricter ad policies, hired more human reviewers and given brands more control over where their ads appear.
YouTube TV carries well-known channels owned by the likes of NBCUniversal, CBS Corp. , 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney Co. Google will have access to a percentage of the two minutes per hour of local commercial space that cable TV distributors typically sell in place of the TV networks.
“Having more premium content, and access to more popular content, was always of interest to our advertisers,” said Debbie Weinstein, managing director for YouTube/Video Global Solutions. “We’re continuing to invest in making it great.”
YouTube is also making some changes to its video ad offerings.
The company for years has resisted advertising on TV screens, touting its ability to reach young consumers through mobile devices. Now, the Google-owned video giant is making it possible for advertisers to buy YouTube video ads on the TV screen only, acknowledging a shift in video consumption to the more traditional medium.
“For the past four to five years, it’s been all about the shift to mobile,” said Ms. Weinstein. “Now, we’re in the midst of the next big revolution. Users are spending more and more time with the TV screen.”
But they’re not consuming YouTube on TV in the same way they’d consume traditional content on cable, said Ms. Weinstein. Rather, they’re accessing YouTube on TV through their gaming console or smart TV, or casting their mobile device onto their TV.
TV screens are YouTube’s fastest growing screen, with over 150 million hours of watch time per day, she said. Still, that’s small compared to the amount of time users spend with mobile content. About a year ago, YouTube said that watch time on mobile was about 1 billion hours per day.
Advertisers will be able to buy the inventory through AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager.
Courtesy: The Wall Street Journal