YouTube is making its service more attractive to TV ad buyers with a new ad offering announced on Wednesday at his annual YouTube Brandcast upfront event in New York. The company said it will introduce non-skippable 30-second ads on connected TVs, which will replace the two consecutive 15-second ads that run today when advertisers target top videos through the YouTube Select program.
Launched in 2020, YouTube Select is part of the company’s ongoing effort to cater to marketers who want to ensure their ad money goes toward high-performing, yet brand-safe video content. The program gives advertisers access to a more curated, high-quality selection of creators and publishers across categories such as music, sports, gaming, food, entertainment, technology and more.
Today, YouTube Select lands more than 70% of impressions on the TV screen, the company said, citing internal data.
Now YouTube advertisers can target their campaigns to these videos with longer, 30-second ads, which YouTube says better align with the advertiser’s goals and enable “richer stories.” It also means advertisers can reuse their existing content, rather than creating shorter content to reach YouTube’s audience. Meanwhile, YouTube believes viewers at home are also more likely to be receptive to longer 30-second ads when watching on the big screen, as that’s already common when watching TV.
The feature comes along with the addition of “Pause” ads on Connected TV devices, which allow advertisers to showcase their brand when a video is paused.
Ad experience updates follow a Nielsen report found YouTube (excluding YouTube TV) was the only streaming service in the US to grow its watch time, as others like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Prime Video, Peacock and Hulu declined or remained flat. YouTube views were up 1.5% from March 27 to April 30, 2023, or an increase of 0.3 percentage points, the found report.
The company has been chasing TV advertising dollars for a while now by presenting on the TV Upfronts, in addition to the digital NewFronts alongside other technology companies, such as Meta and Snap. This could be the right move for the streamer, as not only would it charge TV ad prices, but nearly half of all YouTube viewing in the US now takes place on TVs, The information reported earlier this month.
Including YouTube TV, YouTube reached more than 150 million people on connected TVs in the US last month. YouTube also announced at Brandcast.
In addition to the non-skippable and interruptible ads, YouTube says advertisers will soon be able to reach football fans through the full range of NFL content, including live games on YouTube TV and Primetime Channels, or when watching highlights, post-game commentary. contest or other related content. In addition, as part of its NFL partnership, it will add a new Original Shorts series to the NFL’s YouTube channel after the football season begins, “NFL Creator of the Week.”
Of course, YouTube also made a point of touting its AI capabilities at the event, noting that Google AI, among other things, can help advertisers find the best mix of formats to achieve their campaign goals.