Google prefers new YouTube platform

31/10/2014

As Google launches the new Google Preferred ad platform for YouTube, consumers and marketers alike will find it easier to discover engaging YouTube channels by allowing brands to target the top 5% of inventory. Despite another mysterious Google algorithm identifying which channels fit the criteria, tests run in the US show “significantly higher brand awareness and recall”.

Being the world’s largest video sharing site, YouTube has its work cut out trying to make the vast amount of video content accessible and relevant to brands. With over 100 hours of new video uploaded every minute, it is understandable that Google is attempting to curb association of brands with less notable content, and instead offering the opportunity to target the most popular.

Google’s Eileen Naughton, VP of UK-Ireland Operations, describes online video as the main way in which the UK consumes media, and how “prime time is all the time. Consuming content is no longer a passive experience”. Google Preferred is set up to allow brands to capitalise on the way in which people choose to watch content on YouTube.

This now raises the question – which channels are Google Preferred? YouTube has explained that across 14 different content verticals, the accolade will be awarded to the top 5% of channels based on a ‘P Score’; this metric takes into account social sharing, number of views, watch time and more.

Whether there is a human element to the way in which the top 5% is selected is still to be seen, but YouTube will need to be confident in its evaluation of channels as marketers and advertisers become reliant on these top tiers to drive more meaningful campaigns.

Brands will also be able to purchase the most premium tier of the top 1% of inventory. However, in order to do this, the top 5% must also be purchased. Presumably, this decision was made by YouTube to prevent larger companies with more abundant budgets from buying the entire top 1%, allowing smaller businesses with more frugal resources fair access.

Google Preferred is intended to reassure brands they are not buying questionable pre-roll inventory, while at the same time allowing access to the highest-rated and most-watched content the platform has to offer; meaning the new feature should generate better results and better returns. An interesting step-change for a channel that started as a free to air content platform, famous for its original user-generated content.

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