YouTube tweaks monetisation model in response to ‘adpocalypse’

Social video sharing platform YouTube is rolling out a “channel membership” paid subscription option to its top creators, following criticism that its latest ad policies make it hard for publishers to earn money.

In a model already employed by competitors such as Twitch and Patreon, the platform will let publishers with more than 100,000 fans charge $4.99 a month for access to exclusive content, while those with over 10,000 followers will be able to host live-streamed “premieres” and advertise merchandise beneath their videos.

YouTube updated its advertising policies in the wake of a number of complaints about popular brand ads appearing next to inappropriate content on the site, branding a large portion of videos “unsuitable for advertisers”.

However, this prompted a backlash from YouTube’s video-maker community who called the update the “adpocalypse”, many of which saw their income from advertising fall as a result.

Competitor pressure

The announcement from YouTube comes just days after Facebook launched Instagram TV (IGTV), enabling users to publish vertical videos of up to 60 minutes long on the popular photo-sharing app, in what Marketing Tech reported to be a bid to move in on YouTube’s long-form influencer marketing ad revenue.

While YouTube may have reacted to early rumours in launching its membership options today, it’s more likely the platform has been reconsidering its monetisation strategies in recent months in order to catch up with aforementioned rivals, Twitch and Patreon.

However, the launch of IGTV may have thrown a spanner in this plan, attracting influencers currently active on both YouTube and Instagram to consolidate their efforts onto the app, which may eventually result in a migration of some of its key creators.

Speaking to BBC News, editor of YouTube magazine TenEighty, Alex Brinnand, said; “Creators are largely in favour of the direct-to-creator monetisation options, as it offers them higher revenue from people who are passionate about watching their content.

“This is something we’ve seen on crowd-funding platforms for a long time now, so it is really interesting to see the online video industry adopt this revenue model.”

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 22 Jun 2018

Reddit to feature native video ads starting today

Reddit, the world’s third most popular website after Google and YouTube, is starting to roll out native video advertising across its website and mobile apps following a site-wide redesign. The company is launching the new ad format with select partners, but plans to eventually open it up to all advertisers later this summer, according to a blog post.

The video ads will only be served to redditors that are using the expanded card display layout which is the default of three new modes in Reddit’s latest redesign, which has been met with mixed reactions from users – many are opting to use the old design instead of the new one.

Reddit noted some interesting stats about video consumption in the blog post announcing the pre-roll ads:

– More than 2x video views, growing 23% each month since the start of 2018.
– The website is now averaging more than 5 million minutes of views per day.
– Since launching, videos uploaded via our native player receive twice as many views as YouTube videos on Reddit.
– Native video has taken off in a variety of communities and now accounts for as much as 20% of content in a number of major ‘subreddit’ communities such as r/oddlysatisfying, r/aww and r/FortniteBR for example.

The native video ads will be offered on a cost per view basis and is also offering video-only campaigns for the first time. VP of brand partnerships Zubair Jandali believes that the new format is adding to the utility that the company offers marketers, which are eager to tap the company’s base of 330 million monthly active users.

While Reddit’s website has remained relatively unchanged for the past five years, recently it has increased its product growth with a redesign of its mobile apps and desktop site. Part of that redesign includes giving users the ability to host images and video natively on the platform.

Source: marketing-interactive.com; 13 June 2018

Chinese spend 2 hours, 39 minutes on mobile every day: eMarketer

Contrary to popular belief, mobile screen time is only overtaking TV viewing time in China starting this year. But, mobile video time is growing by about 25% per year.

Smaller screens are set to eclipse television sets in terms of viewing time for the first time in China this year, according to a media forecast report by eMarketer.

Citing digital video as a key driver for increased mobile time, the report estimates that Chinese adults will spend 2 hours and 39 minutes a day on mobile devices. That accounts for close to half of their daily media time (41.6%), up 11.1 % compared to last year.

Nevertheless, TV viewing time is expected to decline by only 2%, to 2 hours and 32 minutes a day, making up 39.8% of daily media time.

The report further estimates that Chinese adults will spend 58 minutes per day this year watching video on mobile, up by nearly 26% year over year. They are expected to spend almost a third of their daily digital time watching video by 2020.

Shelleen Shum, forecasting director at eMarketer, noted that both commercial and user-generated content have had explosive growth over the past year. “Short video apps like Xigua and Kuaishou have received heavy investment in the past year to help commercialise content,” she said. “Ecommerce and news aggregator apps have also used short video content as a way to increase engagement among users.”

However, brand-safety issues and crackdowns by authorities may be a concern for advertisers on these popular platforms. News aggregator app Toutiao, as well as short video apps Kuaishou and Douyin came under scrutiny recently for misleading advertisements and inappropriate content.

Meanwhile, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent also announced investment into short video content during the past year. An eMarketer report released in January predicted that close to 229 million Chinese would watch video on OTT platforms this year. That amounts to about 37% of digital viewers in China, while more than two-fifths of digital viewers in China will subscribe to OTT services by 2019.

Source: campaignasia.com; 19 Apr 2018

Google and Facebook are expanding their video ads

Google and Facebook each recently announced video ad expansions to drive continued ad revenue growth and ensure that both advertisers and publishers continue to see the value in using their platforms either to advertise or distribute content.

The news comes as tech platforms increasingly disappoint advertisers and publishers over brand safety issues and transparency around reach and viewability. The news also comes as 78% of marketers say they plan to increase their video ad production in 2018, according to Clinch research per MarketingDive.

Google’s latest video ad format, called Outstream Video Ads, will operate on mobile devices across Google video partner mobile sites and apps, and will offer advertisers a way of reaching mobile users with video ads outside of YouTube, per Search Engine Land.

Google announced the new format on its blog. The ads will appear in banner ads, Interstitials, in-feed, and native for apps. For advertisers, the new format could enhance brand safety, because only Google video partners— a select group of high-quality publishers and mobile apps — will be eligible to run Outstream ads, improving advertisers’ access to a powerful mix of high-quality video inventory. The format could also offer better viewability assurances on video ads delivered to mobile devices, because advertisers will be charged on a viewable CPM basis. The format also offers advertisers a way of reaching consumers on mobile devices, which are rapidly consuming a greater share of consumers’ time spend across a range of media devices. Mobile ad spend is expected to become the top ad medium this year, capturing 33.9% of total media spending, surpassing TV (31.6%) for the first time, per eMarketer.

Facebook is reportedly expanding pre-roll video ads, after testing the format on Facebook Watch shows earlier this year, according to Variety.

With the expansion, pre-roll ads will appear more broadly in video content surfaced through search results or that’s posted on publisher Pages, as Facebook seeks ways to grow Watch. For now, Facebook won’t insert pre-rolls in News Feed. Along with promoting “good” video content through monetization, Facebook also aims to limit “bad” content by demonetizing low-quality video or publishers that engage in “sharing and distribution schemes,” according to a recent blog post. Limiting low-quality video and expanding available video ad inventory by adding pre-roll ads creates a compelling environment for advertisers and brands. Further, high-quality publishers stand to gain more of advertisers’ video spend on the platform as Facebook prioritizes content that builds engaged and loyal audiences. For Facebook’s part, the platform has identified video as a venue to drive ad revenues, which are the bulk of its total sales, as it reaches capacity for advertising pushed out on News Feed.

Source: businessinsider.com; 25 Apr 2018

YouTube adds on TrueView for reach for ‘even more flexibility’

Google’s YouTube has launched TrueView for reach in a bid to help brands reach more audiences with “even more flexibility”.  According to Google, TrueView for reach brings its popular in-stream format built on user choice together with the simplicity of CPM buying.

“Optimised for efficient reach, this format can help raise awareness among a broad set of customers — and do so within our 95% viewable and 95% audible environment,” said the company in a statement. It is also being lauded by YouTube as a simpler way to buy ad space, which bolster’s YouTube’s current suite of TrueView products such as its TrueView for action feature, allowing advertisers to add call to action functions on their ads.

Currently, Google’s TrueView is marketed on the promise that brands only pay when a viewer chooses to watch their video ad. TrueView ads are also classified as opt-in, so advertisers aren’t restricted by time limits, according to Google. Present TrueView products include TrueView in-stream ads, TrueView video discovery ads, and bumper ads.

The new format already sees brands such as Samsung Electronics America as one of its beta partners. Jay Altschuler, VP of Media at Samsung Electronics America, said that during its flagship phone launch last spring, Samsung was able to reach over 50% more people at half the CPM using TrueView for reach.

“We were eager to test and learn as the launch partner of YouTube’s new TrueView for reach solution since marketing today is no longer about reach – it’s about engaged reach. User choice and attention are both critical for building a meaningful connection with consumers,” Altschuler added.

Meanwhile, Vanessa Tsangaratos, digital marketing manager at Pepsi France said that TrueView for reach not only enabled the brand to achieve “massive on-target reach”, it also delivered high completion rates on its 10-second video. CPMs also proved to be more competitive, and Pepsi saw 30% lower CPMs on average compared to previous campaigns.

“This ultimately drove lower average costs on incremental reach points: -46% versus TV on specific target audiences,” Vanessa Tsangaratos said.

Source: marketing-interactive.com; 3 Apr 2018

LinkedIn Goes All-In On Video Marketing

Marketers and brands can now leverage video for Sponsored content and Company Pages, to reach their audiences on LinkedIn.

Video has a proven track record of being the most efficient way to capture an audience’s attention on social media. LinkedIn made its first move a few months back, allowing users to share organic, native or uploaded videos on its platform. Individual creators have found video to be a great way to share knowledge, and to express themselves on a platform that had often been seen as “a little boring.”

LinkedIn will make video sharing available on Company pages as well, allowing businesses and publishers to take advantage of the feature. This is great news for organic reach and engagement on the platform. Based on the results of its beta program, LinkedIn found Company Page videos to be 5x more likely to start a conversation among members than other types of content.

Bring Your Campaigns To Life With Video For Sponsored Content

Video might be one of the top engaging types of content, but that doesn’t matter if you can’t engage with the right audience. According to an internal LinkedIn study, over 46% of B2B advertisers surveyed, said that being able to target the right audience was a top challenge when running video campaigns.

Native video ads finally bring together the power of video and targeting on LinkedIn. You will now be able to build the right audience for your video campaigns, based on professional traits like job title, seniority, company name, industry, skills, and more. LinkedIn will also let you target videos based on your Matched Audiences – which provides demographic and interest targeting of the people who have visited your website.

Unlike pre- or post-roll video ads, video for Sponsored Content ads live directly on the feed as standalone posts.

Since launching as a private beta program back in October 2017, over 700 advertisers, including GE, Philips and Audi Canada have tested Video for Sponsored Content to highlight their products and services, but also their company mission, customer stories, and thought leadership content. These videos are helping marketers deepen engagement with their brands: on average, LinkedIn members spend almost 3x more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static Sponsored Content.

“Video content is crucial for our brand, and these changes allow LinkedIn’s professional community to more easily derive value from the content we are producing,” said Kaydee Bridges, Vice President, Digital & Social Media Strategy at Goldman Sachs. “While our videos can be long – up to 3 minutes – we are seeing deep engagement at a great value.”

Video for Sponsored Content will allow you to measure success through insights and detailed breakdowns of the types of professionals watching, engaging with, and even converting on your video ads (through conversion tracking.)

Renske Siersema, Social Media Manager at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, also shared the importance of leveraging video to engage with their audience of business travellers. “Video stands out because it doesn’t tell, but it shows. On a platform where there’s more business content, a video stands out more, especially on LinkedIn.”

Video for Sponsored Content and Company Pages will be available to all businesses in the next few weeks. LinkedIn has also signed an agreement with Oracle’s Moat to offer third-party video measurement and viewability. These services should be available to customers later this year.

For its new video ad product, LinkedIn has signed an agreement with Oracle’s Moat to offer 3rd party video measurement and viewability.

Source: wersm.com; 29 Mar 2018

CES a Reminder of How Far TV Tech Has Come

As the industry gears up to attend CES this week in Las Vegas, I’m reminded of an invention that enthralled the conference 20 years ago: Web TV. The device promised a new era of entertainment, where television and the internet would converge to give consumers the best of both. They could channel surf and web surf, all while sitting in the comfort of their living room.

But despite the promise of a new, interactive entertainment experience and technology that was state of the art for its time, Web TV never really took off. The hardware was clunky—imagine the old low-definition TV’s of the past, sitting on a set-top box with a keyboard and a modem. The software was slow and hard to navigate. And though there were great things to watch on television, there wasn’t much to do online; no one really wanted to check their email on their TV.

Web TV never really took off, but 20 years later, we’re finally fulfilling the vision of bringing hardware, software and fantastic content together to create an unrivalled living room experience.

Start with the hardware. The latest TV’s are as thin as picture frames and look like art, with high-end displays that render the world into sharp, brilliant relief. They’re also smart from the start, internet-enabled and able to connect wirelessly to your home network. Connected TV sales have grown ten percent in just the last year. If your TV isn’t connected, set-top boxes like Roku, smart sticks like Chromecast, and gaming consoles like XBox One X can unlock incredible libraries of entertainment on nearly any TV. And the latest smart speakers from Google and Apple let you ditch the remote entirely and navigate with the sound of your voice.

As for software, it’s now as important as hardware. TV apps can give you features and experiences you could have never dreamed of before. At YouTube, we’ve worked hard to build an experience that works on every screen. When YouTube first launched, it was something you only watched at work or on your computer; now it’s second nature for people to watch it on their phones or in their living rooms. In fact, TV is actually our fastest-growing screen at 70% year-over-year. Two out of three YouTube users say they watch YouTube on a TV screen, and watch time of YouTube on living room devices now tops over 100 million hours per day.

And that leads to the third point—online video has exploded, creating a golden age of content we couldn’t have imagined 20 years ago. Today, you can seamlessly switch from watching live sports on a national network, to the latest Netflix original series, to your favourite music video, to doing Yoga with Adriene—a YouTube yogi with nearly 3 million subscribers. All that choice can be daunting, but recommendation algorithms are getting better and better at surfacing content you’ll want to watch—over 70 percent of time people spend watching YouTube is driven by our recommendations.

These developments have all led us to a watershed moment, fully realizing the potential of what an internet-enabled TV experience can be. But it also frees us up to push past this moment and unleash a new wave of TV innovation. It means we can embrace new formats like 4K and HDR video because platforms like YouTube have so much of that content to enjoy. It means we can create more social experiences, whether connecting fans with their favourite stars through comments, posts or live chats; or connecting them to each other through cowatching experiences that allow people in different places to enjoy the same content at the same time.
And with new over-the-top services like YouTube TV, Sling TV and DirecTV Now, we can undergo the biggest change of all: enjoying live TV without the commitments that come with cable. Cable TV revolutionized the television experience, breaking us out of a three-channel world and ushering us into a golden age for the medium. But today consumers can finally get everything they love about TV, without the fees and annual contracts that come with cable.

In fact, they can get even more. YouTube TV offers unparalleled features and powerful experiences that aren’t constrained by the cable box, like an unlimited cloud DVR, personalized recommendations and an experience that works just as well on any screen. It’s no wonder cord-cutting grew by 11 percent over the last year and is expected to jump even higher next year.

When we at YouTube think about the future of TV, this is what we see—a future marked by greater choice, better quality content, smarter recommendations, more social experiences and fewer commitments. As I head to Vegas for CES this year, I’m betting it won’t take another 20 years.

The author, Neal Mohan is the chief product officer at YouTube.

Source: variety.com; 7 Jan 2018

YouTube is now the most viewed video platform in APAC, barring China

With 45.5% digital video viewers, YouTube has been named as the most popular video viewing platform in APAC, according to eMarketer.

The number is further expected to rise by nearly 13%. The report named India as the fastest growing market with the viewership expected to rise from 203 million in 2018 to 285 million by 2021. Empowered by internet penetration, mobile phone video viewers in India will also rise to 204 million in 2021.

As for China, video platforms like Youku, Tencent, iQiyi, LeTV and Sohu—will have the highest penetration rate of internet users accessing their mobile phone to watch video in 2018, at an estimated 65.8%. Australia and Indonesia will also rank highly this year, with penetration rates of 62.9% and 61.7%, respectively.

Oscar Orozco, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer, said: “YouTube usage is on the rise and has become the most popular video streaming service throughout Asia-Pacific, except in China where it is censored.

While regional Netflix adoption is still low, awareness and intent to subscribe is growing. We expect Netflix adoption will continue to expand, while at the same time providing much-needed competition and influence on local streaming providers.”

“Online video streaming is on the rise in Asia-Pacific; viewing is primarily occurring on mobile phones. In China, the availability of content has increased tenfold over the past year, with Baidu’s video platform iQiyi inking a content licensing deal with Netflix, while Alibaba’s Youku Tudou reached a similar agreement with NBCUniversal and Sony,” he added.

Source: thedrum.com; 31 Jan 2018

YouTube Is Finally Addressing Brand Safety Fears With These 3 Changes

Creators are getting new guidelines

After nearly a year of complaints from advertisers concerned about their ads appearing alongside questionable content and a slew of its biggest influencers going rogue on the platform, YouTube is revamping its policies for how creators make money off of their videos.

Over the past year, YouTube has tweaked several of its policies, upping the requirement for channels to hit 10,000 views, for example, and adding more staffers to vet videos. Still, brand safety has quickly become a more mainstream problem for brands. As of just last week at CES, execs were quick to point to brand safety concerns as among their biggest gripes with Google and Facebook.

“While we took several steps last year to protect advertisers from inappropriate content, we know we need to do more to ensure that their ads run alongside content that reflects their values,” wrote Paul Muret, vp of display, video and analytics at YouTube, in a blog post.

Here are the three steps YouTube is taking:

1. Buh-bye programmatic premium ads

Google Preferred, YouTube’s program that allows brands to only run ads against the most popular 5 percent of content, is billed as the site’s top-tier program for the its most premium content.

While those ad buys are limited to a small section of video channels, creators’ individual videos are not vetted. That can be a problem for brands: Think Logan Paul’s controversial “Suicide Forest” video that got the star kicked out of Google Preferred or PewDiePie’s anti-Semitic messages that caused brands to back away from his videos.

To avoid such problems, YouTube is now manually screening each individual video for Google Preferred channels, which should cut down on the number of lone videos that make their way through YouTube’s programmatic pipes. According to Google, Google Preferred channels and videos in the U.S. will be vetted by mid-February and will be finished globally by the end of March.

2. Moving beyond views

Until now, creators were given permission to be part of YouTube’s Partner Program—in other words, how people make money off of clips—based on how many views a channel had.

Although YouTube did increase the requirement to 10,000 total views in April, “it’s been clear over the last few months that we need the right requirements and better signals to identify the channels that have earned the right to run ads,” Muret wrote.

Now YouTube channels will need to amass 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in a one-year period to run ads. Both new and existing channels will have to meet the new requirements, which go into effect on Feb. 20.

In addition to views, YouTube staff will also monitor spam, community strikes and flags of abuse as qualifiers for whether or not a channel can make money off of clips.

According to Google, 99 percent of the channels that will be affected by the new guidelines make less than $100 from advertising every year, meaning the vast majority of channels affected do not make much money off of YouTube.

3. Tiered media buys

YouTube is rolling out a three-tiered system for brand safety that allows brands more transparency into where their ads appear.

One option caters to brands that are sensitive about where their ads appear. On the other end, a broad-based option lets brands buy ads across a bigger section of videos. The middle option—which is the default option—plays between, with targeted ads that still reach a significant number of channels.

Whether or not the changes will cause brands to pour more money and trust into Google has yet to be seen, but agencies see the moves as important steps from one of the world’s biggest advertising platforms.

Source: adweek.com; 17 Jan 2018

This chart shows how much more expensive ‘brand-safe’ video ads are versus YouTube videos

A number of global brands pulled their advertising campaigns from YouTube after finding their ads had appeared next to extremist content.

Google, which owns YouTube, has vowed to tackle the issue by working on toughening up its policies, making its advertiser controls easier to use, and hiring more staff to police content deemed unsafe by advertisers.

However, as this illustrative chart from Enders Analysis shows, at least some of the blame for such ad misplacement falls on the ad buyers themselves:

Image 1

The chart demonstrates that the cheapest ads – bought using automated systems on ad exchanges that serve ads to a swathe of sites across the web – carry the most risk, whereas ads that have been directly sold by a media owner – and particularly broadcasters – are deemed the most safe.

“YouTube Preferred” – a service where advertisers pay a premium to only appear against the most popular videos – also appears quite high up the chart. But most advertisers simply buy YouTube ads at scale, via ad exchanges like Google’s AdX.

As Google executives themselves explained, 400 hours of user-generated content are uploaded to YouTube every minute, making it extremely difficult to monitor which content is safe for brands to advertise against and which isn’t.

In a research note, Enders says: “The basic idea of ‘you get what you pay for’ in programmatic video advertising, either in media costs or agency planning and service fees (or both, depending on the type of media), is something we believe that many advertisers have yet to fully incorporate into their strategy for media buying.”

Business Insider took a deeper look at the real motivations behind the YouTube advertiser boycott. We spoke to more than a dozen ad executives who suggested the boycott smacks of “opportunism” and a chance to gleefully bash the biggest player in the online ad industry. Others said the disquiet shows just how little some marketers understand about the mechanics of the online advertising market.

Source: businessinsider.my; 25 Mar 2017