- YouTube announced in an Adwords blog post that TV screens are joining computers, smartphones and tablets as a device type for AdWords and Doubleclick Bid Manager. The company cited Nielsen data indicating more than half of 18- to 49-year-olds are light TV viewers or do not subscribe to TV at all, but over 90% of the demographic watches YouTube.
- The AdWords addition, rolling out in the coming months, allows advertisers to better tailor their YouTube campaigns to TV viewing, including through different creative. AdWords will offer a new audience segment as part of the change called "light TV viewers" to help advertisers reach cord-cutters.
- YouTube TV, the platform's streaming package for TV networks that's available in nearly 100 markets, is also for the first time allowing advertisers to access full-length TV inventory in Google Preferred, the company's premium advertising program. Advertisers will be able to run dynamic campaigns to ensure that relevant ads are reaching the right audience as opposed to running the same creative across channels.
YouTube, beyond helping drive the current cord-cutting trend, might soon usurp cable and broadcast networks in providing the content that people watch most on their TV screens and helping advertisers reach those increasingly elusive audiences. That means the Google-owned platform would be able to siphon off more of the ad dollars traditionally allocated to TV budgets. TV is now YouTube's fastest-growing channel for viewing with 150 million hours of watch time per day, the company said.
YouTube being able to take a cross-channel approach with dynamic creative better-suited to TV, mobile or desktop viewing will make an appealing option for marketers struggling to develop agile multichannel strategies. Being able to run YouTube TV campaigns through Google Preferred could also draw interest to the streaming package, which is now available in 85% of U.S. households after launching last year.
And despite several brand safety crises over the past several months, YouTube remains the de facto place for digital video consumption and will likely retain that title as consumer interest in the format continues to grow. Marketers now put 59% of their digital advertising budgets toward digital video, according to newly published research from the IAB made available to Marketing Dive. More than half of media buyers plan to ramp up digital and mobile video spending over the next year, the trade group said, with many reporting the format allows them to reach people "unavailable" via linear TV.
"These findings reflect consumers' enthusiasm for the dynamic storytelling which original video programming delivers in spades, and the power of the medium to deliver strong ROI," Anna Bager, EVP of industry initiatives at the IAB, said in a statement.
The Nielsen data on cord cutters isn't just promotional talk from YouTube either. Pay TV provider Charter Communications last week said it lost 122,000 subscribers in Q1 2018, greatly exceeding the 40,000 figure expected by Wall Street analysts, The Wall Street Journal reported. Recent earnings from other telecom giants painted a less bleak — but still far from rosy — picture of the landscape.
New YouTube products arrive just before the company's Digital Content NewFronts presentation to advertisers and media buyers on Thursday. Among the platforms scheduled to present their upcoming content schedule during the upfront season, YouTube is drumming up the most consumer excitement thanks to its original content offerings, according to a YouGov study commissioned by Matrix Solutions that was provided to Marketing Dive.