Does YouTube TV present an opportunity for video advertisers?

As announced last week, YouTube is plunging further into video-on-demand (VOD) and more specifically, TV subscription services. The aptly named YouTube TV service will cost $35 a month and will launch stateside in the not-too-distant future. Whether you are creating and sharing unique content on your own channel or making use of the already available advertising options, YouTube TV will undoubtedly add yet another string to your marketing bow.   

The announcement included details about YouTube TV, which will carry over 40 TV networks, including a mixture of local broadcast channels and cable networks. Users will also have the option of paying an extra fee for sport. YouTube is also giving access to content produced exclusively for its existing YouTube Red subscription service.

Whilst time will tell if YouTube TV can be a serious contender in this field, let’s take a look at what this means for advertisers…

Craft Content for Smart TVs

Whilst 73% of YouTube viewing happens on mobile in the UK, its fastest-growing screen is in fact TV. So, there is no surprise that YouTube are tapping into that audience as an additional revenue stream. Netflix is already a staple across the UK, which in my opinion is down to its barrierless access. Due to the rise in smart TV ownership and the increasing user-expectation to be able to access content on-demand, YouTube has already become a part of the living room experience for the younger audience pre YouTube TV.

As reported in Marketing Week, it is no surprise that viewing is most prevalent among millennials. YouTube claims nearly half (48%) of those aged 16 to 34 have watched YouTube on their TV.

What does the this mean for advertisers? If you’re planning to leverage YouTube TV as an advertising channel, when creating content you’ll need to consider the size of the screen and the availability of meaningful CTAs. YouTube pre-roll ads were typically made with smaller screens in mind, but now your ad will have to look good on the big screen, per se. Cross-device attribution has never been more important, with viewers likely to be watching YouTube TV, surprise surprise, on a TV, whilst also browsing on a smartphone.

TV already loves working with YouTube

Will YouTube TV change the way broadcasters share content? Take James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke for example; recorded for US TV show, aired on US TV and later added to YouTube to make content accessible to a global audience. This example can be applied to tons of content, so I don’t think YouTube TV will disrupt that, however I do expect a number of YouTube TV exclusives. Who knows what opportunity this may bring with it.

What does the this mean for advertisers? Not a great deal at the moment, but worth a mention. Look at the hype generated around Amazon Video’s ‘The Grand Tour’. YouTube is no longer competing with broadcasters, but collaborating. The relationship between now seems to be somewhat reciprocal – Keep creating great content, and YouTube will provide you a platform to share it .

Lots more advertising opportunity for Video Advertisers

Although not confirmed, it looks as though on top of the subscription revenue, that YouTube will look to monetise this valuable advertising space too. This opens up a whole new level of targeting for advertisers. Hopefully, the ability to drive targeted and cost-effective brand awareness campaigns via smart TVs.

We don’t have enough information yet to make assumptions on the targeting that may or may not be available, but what we do know, is that it’s another potential platform to find new and existing users making use of multi-screen content consumption.

What does the this mean for advertisers? Let’s not forget, that currently, this service has only been announced in the US. It will be Interesting to see how this progresses and if it launches as a service in the UK, given we already have Netflix, Now TV, Amazon Video and a multitude of already established subscription TV services. I’d be more interested to find out if YouTube algorithms will show YouTube TV content higher in searches, if there will be separate ad targeting, and what any advertising report dashboards may look like. Not to mention if they’ll be using a bidding/auction model.

YouTube TV opens the creative door wide open. The ability to launch in-program YouTube ads may be on the cards. YouTube users on a mobile can click ads, on a Smart TV – it’s not so straightforward. Attribution will have to be heavily considered and paid advertising on a Smart TV will almost certainly have to drive different-device action for those watching on a TV with a smartphone glued to their hand.

For content creators, I don’t think a lot will change – this doesn’t look to be threatening the native platform (a new YouTube TV app is being launched). For advertisers, plenty of opportunities to get creative. Watch this space!

Opt In Image
Know about what is changing in marketing!

Keep up with the latest digital marketing developments, views and how-tos through State of Digital’s digest newsletters. Be the first to hear about events, white papers, e-books, webinars, training and more!

You will receive the free e-book "Content Marketing Essentials" as a thank you!

* Personalize your experience when signed up!

About Jack Cooper

Jack Cooper is the Digital Marketing Manager at Strawberrysoup, an integrated Digital Marketing Agency with offices based in Chichester, Bournemouth and London. Strawberrysoup is a flourishing digital agency with its roots based firmly in website development and design and Jack enjoys writing about the relationship between new marketing techniques and the creative industries.