Expert predictions on the future of YouTube advertising, from industry insiders ‒ Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Branded the “Adpocalypse”, YouTube’s new policies on how and when advertising appears next to video content ‒ formulated as a response to the Times exposé ‒ have caused consternation amongst some producers who post to the Google-owned service.
If the future of YouTube looks different to its past, so too must the future of YouTube advertising. As this powerful platform continues to gain ground, how will it evolve and what will advertisers have to do to maximize value from their YouTube spend? Our in-house experts have put their heads together to pull out the key trends that will inform the future of YouTube advertising.
How important is it for brands to advertise on YouTube?
The reality of YouTube today is that the platform is so powerful and dominant that advertisers simply can’t afford to ignore it. YouTube has more than a billion users ‒ almost one-third of all people on the Internet.
However, it’s not just the scale of the platform that makes YouTube so compelling to advertisers, but also the engagement of its users. Completion rates for YouTube content are six times higher than for Facebook, its next closest competitor, and even further ahead of Instagram and Twitter. YouTube viewers watch advertising content more regularly, and for longer. Certainly no consumer brand in the global top 100 sees YouTube as optional – they’re all spending significant ad budget on the channel.
How safe will brands be on the YouTube of the future?
There’s no doubt that the very public row over advertising placements was embarrassing and damaging for YouTube itself. YouTube is responding to this constructively, however, by investing heavily in tools and technologies that enable it to analyze the content of video as it is uploaded by content creators – and to flag content that is inappropriate for advertising. We go into this in more detail in our insider guide. The platform is also being held to account by policymakers, with the content they carry under ever-closer scrutiny.
Will YouTube’s new subscription service offer advertising opportunities?
The subscription-based YouTube Red service offers a much more controlled and curated choice of content, including video commissioned by the platform. From an advertising perspective, this may be very attractive in the future.
While YouTube states that advertising is currently not part of Red, if the service takes off it may only be a matter of time before a "free to air version" with ads becomes available. With digital advertising spend overtaking that of traditional TV, we give this broader disruption more detailed consideration in our full report.
How will YouTube develop its performance analytics in the future?
When it comes down to it, advertisers want to see data that shows YouTube is making good on its promises about the future of advertising. Here there is particularly good news. Google and YouTube are committed to making more data available, boosting the ability of advertisers, agencies, and their partners to monitor ‒ and therefore refine ‒ their campaigns in real time.
The metrics on offer have already become substantially more detailed, and we outline some of these in our full report. Further such improvements will become available almost continuously, as YouTube recognizes that data and performance metrics are key battleground issues in the competition with rivals such as Amazon and Facebook. That’s good news for advertisers.
The YouTube story has only just begun
In only a short space of time, YouTube has moved from user-generated clips watched by a few geeks in their bedrooms, to premium content delivered at enormous scale across multiple devices. And recently we have seen a significant redesign of the YouTube site, pointing to a cleaner, simpler and more focused proposition.
However, YouTube itself can only do so much. Advertisers are also going to have to seize the initiative for themselves. To get their message across with the highest possible audience metrics, they will need to plan more strategically about how they spend on YouTube. And where Google’s own tools don’t facilitate smarter planning, advertisers can look to specialist providers such as Precise.TV. We help them secure the performance and transparency required, improving campaign VTR performance by an average of 50%, and product interest by up to 161%.