YouTube’s Restricted Access to its Inventory: What it Means to Video Marketers

YouTube’s Restricted Access to its Inventory: What it Means to Video Marketers

Recently, Google announced that it will not be selling YouTube inventory through AdExchange (AdX) by the first of January, 2016. According to Neal Mohan, the vice president of video and display advertising at Google, the reason behind this change is to allow for concentration on the formats and channels that are used by YouTube partners, for instance, TrueView and the Google preferred program. Neal Mohan wrote that they will no longer support the small amount of YouTube happening on AdX. What does this mean for your YouTube video marketing strategy?

Of all the ads bought on YouTube, Trueview makes up 85%. Consumers like the fact that they can skip the ads, while marketers enjoy the pricing which is based on cost-per-view. Google Partner Select and Google Preferred help Google to position itself as a premier buy for brands. They also increase sell-ins for its ad tech. Google Preferred is an option for the advertisers who want the top 5% of YouTube’s video inventory.

According to Brett Wilson, TubeMogul CEO, this move by Google, and by extension YouTube prohibits marketers from buying non-skippable ads and from using data for the purpose of targeting on YouTube. Interestingly, third-party demand partners will still access the Adx publisher marketplace. They can also buy TrueView ads via Adwords. Google allowed for the programmatic buying of Trueview formats in April 2015 via the DoubleClick Bid Manager.

The changes do not by any means translate to any changes in the relationship between Google and its software partners. Google has reached out to them and assured them that they remain important in the Google video ad ecosystem.

Why the change?

Pixability did a post on why Google may have made these changes. Let us delve more into this:

The announcement by Google translates into the fact that many demand side platforms will be prevented from buying ads on YouTube. If you want to buy ads, you will have to use YouTube’s platforms, for instance, DoubleClick Bid Manager and Adwords for Video.

The announcement by Google looks counterintuitive. Google aims at making more money with its video platform. There is an increase in YouTube’s share in ad revenue. Increased competition from other platforms especially Facebook makes it seem better to open up further access to the Youtube ad inventory, rather the contrary. Let us look at why YouTube made this move and what it means in terms of your video Youtube Video Marketing strategy:

1. Preventing confusion

Many marketers have not yet understood the options offered by YouTube. The fact that the ads were available on demand side platforms made it even harder to understand these options. The primary ad format on YouTube is TrueView, skippable pre-roll ads, small display units, and search ads. AdX offered non-skippable pre-roll ads, which are 15 seconds long. The buyers may have not really cared much about the difference. However, the difference is significant for Google and the viewers as well.

As a marketer, you need to re-schedule how you buy your ads, and only work on the available YouTube platforms.

2. Preventing accommodation

Demand side platforms made buyers to treat YouTube as another line item in a bigger media plan. This may have been convenient for agencies, but it wasn’t in Google’s best interest. Since TrueView is a high quality ad format when compared with other formats, Google aims at making it the premier format. TrueView is also attractive in terms of brand safety and viewability.

As a marketer, you need to package your ads in TrueView ads, since it seems like it is going to be the ultimate standard.

3. Allowing for innovation and relevance

Google optimizes ad relevance, and TrueView utilizes the same approach. The ad is usually targeted to the right audience, and if viewers do not want to watch it they can choose to skip it after 5 seconds. This is a win-win for both advertiser and consumers. Unfortunately, ads bought via demand side platforms may not target your audience.

The utilization of other YouTube innovations for instance, interactive cards, will be underutilized if YouTube continues to allow people to buy ads via demand side platforms.

As a marketer, it may be more beneficial to use YouTube platforms, as you are more assured of a more targeted audience.

4. Longer watch time

YouTube has striven to see an increase in watch time. It also rewards videos in YouTube searches. Ads provided by demand side platforms may make the viewer stop watching the video if they cannot find a way to navigate around the ad.

5. Control of data collection

Demand side platforms collect private information that Google would prefer to keep private. As a marketer, privacy is certainly crucial. You may therefore opt for YouTube’s platform.

The move from demand side platforms, for instance, AdX may not hurt YouTube’s revenue. This is because only 5% of YouTube ads were actually bought via AdX.

A different school of thought

There is a school of thought that feels that the announcement by YouTube does not call for any changes in any Youtube Video Marketing strategies. This is because they argue that the move to online advertising will lead to even more high quality video inventories. They site some that are already existent, for instance, LiveRail, DailyMotion Exchange, and SpotXchange. This means that advertisers will have a variety of choices when it comes to advertising.

Content marketers may also benefit from cross-channel advertising and targeting, from the perspective of this school of thought. They will therefore need to form deep connections with the various advertising platforms, and seek to find how effective their spending on ads are. It may also help them to reach customers who may be more active in one channel when compared to others. Customer demographics will become clearer.

The other possibility is only a few companies taking dominance, giving only a few options to content marketers.

Conclusion

Does the announcement by Google call for a change or adaptation in your YouTube video marketing strategy?



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