Google recently announced quite a few changes to the advertising side of YouTube, for the benefit of advertisers and consumers.
How many of us watch a majority of YouTube videos on our mobile device? ✋ I know I do, and the times I do watch videos on my laptop are few and far between, and that is the exact basis for all the upcoming changes.
The most important change from this announcement is that YouTube will now have access to Google account data. Although Google purchased YouTube in 2006 they have been slower to integrate it with their other apps. For example, it wasn’t until last year that Google integrated the YouTube advertising interface into Adwords. Since YouTube also has access to user data, this means that they can use the demographics Google has collected for their advertising efforts just as Google does. As an example, say i’m looking for a new phone case, give up on looking, and head to YouTube to watch a new music video. YouTube will now be able to access that search data, and the ad shown before my video may be for a phone case. This also means that the ads you see on Google will now show up on YouTube.
This targeted use of demographics is projected to increase the use of Google’s “Customer Match” program that was rolled out in 2015. Customer Match is a way for advertisers to reach already-engaged customers in a timely and relevant manner. These are consumers who have already purchased from the advertiser, signed up for a newsletter or joined their loyalty/rewards program. All advertisers have to do is upload their contact list and Google will securely match them to already signed in users. Customer Match also includes the ability for advertisers to reach prospects that are similar to their current customers based on search data, and demographics. With the YouTube integration, this is just another platform easily available for advertisers to begin utilizing this to their full advantage, without any extra work.
Though none of these changes will affect user control over what they can and can’t see, Google has begun to develop a cross-screen user control panel. This makes sure that if you don’t want to see an ad on Google, you’re not going to see this ad on YouTube. At the same time, if you switch from your laptop to your phone those ads aren’t going to magically reappear just because you’re on a different screen, hence the “cross-screen” name.
Google believes that these changes mean “users will have more choice and transparency over how they experience ads on Google and YouTube, and advertisers will have more opportunities to be present and relevant in the moments their audience chooses to watch.”