YouTube Accelerates its TV-screen Ad Alternatives

Shivani Salunke | May 11, 2020

YouTube Accelerates its TV-screen Ad Alternatives
  • YouTube is accelerating its TV-screen ad options.

  • Google’s internal numbers that show sharp growth in consumption on TVs, and there’s been speculation these numbers will remain consistent as COVID-19 keeps consumers at home.

  • The ad formats may be familiar to regular advertisers on YouTube, but the move signals Google’s intention to continue its growth in the realm of connected TV instead of just an app on user phones.


Brand Lift on TV Screens

Advertisers running Brand Lift surveys on YouTube will have a new placement in the coming months: TV screens.

With media mixes becoming increasingly reliant on streaming, it’s more important than ever to measure its impact. As a result, we’re accelerating the launch of Brand Lift for YouTube on TV screens.

- Google announcement

Surveys will be optimized for larger screens and be TV remote control-enabled so users can participate instead of tapping or with a mouse on their desktop.

Google touts the ability for brands to now make faster decisions about their ad performance on the fly with the additional data.

It will be available for ad recall, purchase intent, or awareness studies for the YouTube app on TVs in the coming weeks. The projected date for YouTube TV is early in the third quarter.

Skippable Ad Format Coming to TV

YouTube’s widely-used skippable ad format will also be available on TV screens this year.

Skippable ads appear before, during or after other YouTube videos. They run for 5 seconds before the user has the option to skip them.

Advertisers find these favorable because they only pay if the user watches the whole video, or 30 seconds of it, whichever happens first.

Skippable ad prices are paid based on impressions, with the option for bidding types like Target CPM, Target CPA and Maximize Conversions.

Read more: Youtube launched a free DIY tool for small businesses to create short video ads

Timing of the Enhancements

Google reports sharp year-over-year increases of watch time by 80% on YouTube in the US.

The data cited runs from March 11-April 10, so the jump doesn’t fully encompass the anticipated surge that will eventually be reported from the time period during the COVID-19 outbreak.

From this time period int he US, Google has seen:

-250% increase in feature-length movies

-300% increase in TV show consumption

-450% increase in news

Worldwide, Google is reporting:

-800% increase in feature-length movies

-125% increase in TV Shows

-250% increase in live content

YouTube During COVID-19

Comscore has reported that over 70 million US households stream content to their TV screens.
Of this consumption, the report shows that YouTube has the highest reach and most hours consumed among any streaming service. YouTube accounts for 25% of all streaming watch time in the US.

The weeks of sheltering in place has meant a more captive audience, often with multiple family members who stream together or alone. The rapid increase has created a wave of demand for fresh content from the platform.

Google has also noted that watch time via screencasting has increased 75% year over year.

Their full announcement can be read here.

OTT/CTV Wars Heating Up

This increase in demand has not come without challenges for creators trying to monetize short-term. Fluctuating policies around COVID-related content and advertiser hesitancy to have their ads appear in tandem with it are expected to wane as users’ experience during this time normalize.

eMarketer reported a huge 320% leap at the start of the year for Connected TV ad transactions in North America. Streaming devices and programmatic services like The Trade Desk are all better on the continued growth. Just this week, Roku announced their OneView Platform launch, signaling their intention to get a piece of the ad spend pie, particularly in light of the sustained rate of larger consumption during Coronavirus.

Our goal is to help advertisers and content partners invest for a world where all TV is streamed.

- Scott Rosenberg, SVP and GM, Platform Business at Roku

Read more: Youtube mulls letting creators sell their own ads directly to brands


The TV business is flooded with data, but still needs to make sure that it is measuring what is important to ad sellers, media buyers and advertisers. Nielsen’s new Total Audience is coming, comScore and Rentrak are getting together and the networks themselves are crunching numbers to demonstrate th

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