- Google launched a new TV screens device type on Oct. 16 that allows advertisers to target YouTube audiences watching video on TVs through Chromecast, set-top boxes like Apple TV, video game consoles and smart TVs, the company announced in a blog post.
- YouTube ads on TV drove an average lift of 47% in ad recall and 35% in purchase intent, according to Ipsos Lab Experiments data cited in the blog post.
- Advertisers can access TV-focused analytics and special options through the new device-type update to determine a campaign's success, according to Mashable. Advertisers can also set specific bidding for TV viewers.
As more consumers cut the cord and turn to over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV services, many marketers have struggled to drive engagement on these platforms, which typically blend in digital elements and don't always support ads. By adding TV screens to its device categories for YouTube, Google is attempting to ease that process while also recognizing that the channel is a huge opportunity for its own business. The Alphabet company claims that people now collectively watch 180 million hours of YouTube content on TV screens every day.
The ability to specifically target YouTube audiences watching on TV also presents a much more affordable option than traditional TV ad buys, as noted by Mashable. TV ad prices have remained high despite ratings declines of 10% to 12%, according to Magna. Not only that, YouTube advertisers can also leverage valuable TV analytics to inform their video strategies across platforms, which has frequently been a struggle.
Marketers are broadly investing more in OTT, which promises better targeted ads, cross-screen planning and buying and addressability. Magna predicts that ad spend on OTT TV will increase 40% to $2 billion this year. The increase is being driven by higher consumer adoption of smart TVs and set-top boxes, and Magna reports that 80% of all U.S. households will be reachable through OTT in 2018.
YouTube's viewership continues to grow, with the platform is projected to overtake Facebook as the website with the second-most traffic from U.S. users, according to a recent SimilarWeb study. The platform is also popular with younger audiences, groups that marketers continually strive to reach and who are helping to drive the cord-cutting trend.
As video has taken up a larger part of marketers' digital strategies, YouTube has been rolling out new tools to attract advertisers and viewers. The company recently announced that it is testing a new programming distribution model for its subscription YouTube Premium service, with more content in front of the paywall. Following several high-profile brand safety issues on YouTube, Google has made some changes to improve transparency on the platform, including tougher ad eligibility requirements for content creators.