It likely comes as no surprise that consumers are watching more videos online than ever. While you may think that mobile or desktop account for a lot of those hours, consumers haven’t found it so easy to let go of their TV set. In fact, over 150 million hours of YouTube is watched every day on TV screens worldwide, proving that the traditional TV set still reigns supreme in terms of attention
Even though YouTube videos can be watched anywhere on mobile, the trend of watching YouTube on TV sets is only growing stronger. According to YouTube, watch time of its content on TV sets has doubled year-over-year.
This behavior from consumers is one of the reasons why YouTube announced a new device type for YouTube ad targeting. By adding ‘TV screens,’ advertisers will be able to specifically target users consuming YouTube content on their home TV sets.
In this article, I’ll be explaining what exactly YouTube plans with this addition, and will go over just what YouTube’s new addition to ad targeting will mean for consumers and social media marketing agencies!
What is YouTube TV Screens?
With this new offering, YouTube is promising marketers a new way to reach people watching YouTube videos on TV screens, and allows advertisers to target ads toward cord-cutters and consumers who don’t want a lot of traditional TV. This includes consumers who use streaming devices such as Google Chromecast, set-top boxes like the Apple TV, Kodi, or Roku, as well as video game consoles, and smart TVs.
Until April of this year, Google only allowed advertisers to tailor video ad campaigns for computers, mobile phones, and tablets. But with YouTube’s latest addition, advertisers will be able to fully optimize their video ads for YouTube’s growing connected-TV viewership. This means that the TV screens device type will join the others in Google Ads (formerly AdWords) and Display & Video 360 (formerly DBM).
With this, marketers running YouTube video ads will be able to set specific bidding prices for those audiences consuming YouTube content on their home TV sets, as well as each of the other device type categories (computer, mobile phone, or tablet). Additionally, advertisers will receive television-focused analytics and special options for their ads with this YouTube update. This allows advertisers to strategize based on how effective these ad campaigns are.
YouTube says connected TVs represent its fastest-growing device category, thanks in part to the growth of YouTube TV, its over-the-top “skinny bundle” pay-TV service launched last year. They also claimed that YouTube ads that were shown on TV drove a significant lift in ad recall and purchase intent, with an average lift of 47% and 35% respectively.
As an increasing amount of consumers look to digital alternative to meet their entertainment desires, this may just be the next stage for online video. It will help advertisers shift into the traditional TV space while simultaneously allowing YouTube a cut of the projected $70 billion in ad spend that will go to TV ads in the US alone.
With the addition of TV screens as a device option, YouTube is pushing the space forward, further merging online and offline behaviors.
Here are the two ad programs YouTube is rolling out:
‘Light TV viewers’ targeting: YouTube will introduce a new audience segment in AdWords called ‘light TV viewers.’ Like the TV screens offering, the ‘light TV viewers’ option will span across all device platforms. These ‘light’ viewers are those consumers who, based on Google and YouTube’s metrics, watch most of their TV and video content online—and are therefore much less likely to subscribe to pay TV.
YouTube on TV screens: For the first time, advertisers will be able to reach audiences specifically on television screens through AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager. This option will join the existing ability to target YouTube viewers on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
The new YouTube TV ad inventory will be available through Google Preferred, the premium ad program for the top 5% most popular YouTube channels. So far, Google hasn’t sold ads for its OTT “virtual pay-TV” service. However, starting in the fourth quarter of 2018, inventory on some U.S. cable networks on YouTube TV will be available as an extension to Google Preferred. Google and YouTube had planned to begin selling the inventory to coincide with the TV upfront seasons.
In particular, the ‘light TV viewers’ offers a great opportunity for marketers. It could be just the opportunity that marketers have been looking for to reach audiences that have become very hard to find on conventional TV. Marketers are always looking for the next opportunity to get into consumers’ living rooms to reach them on a more personal level, and YouTube TV screens may be able to accomplish just this.
With YouTube TV, Google is looking to dial up ad monetization. YouTube TV is now available in 99 of 100 top U.S. designated market areas, reaching some 85% of the nation’s TV households.
TV ad spend in the US is also huge, and is projected to reach $70 billion. With YouTube’s newest targeting offering, they may have just found the perfect way to get a cut of that spend. Marketers will also have access to another platform to reach viewers, and will finally be able to engage with consumers who are still focused on traditional TV spaces.
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