YouTube Ads, A Background
In 2019, $15 billion of Google’s advertising revenue came from YouTube and this figure is projected to grow in 2020. This just shows how YouTube is being viewed as a potential area for growth by brands all over the world.
Now, if you’ve ever watched a video on YouTube then there is a good chance you have seen an ad pop up either during the video or at the end. Traditionally, these ads have been operated and chosen by YouTube. Furthermore, they could be targeted towards the interests of the user based on recent search behaviour. Google’s algorithm learns as much as it can before serving the most relevant ad, at the right time to the right person.
The concept of content creators or influencers being able to sell ad space directly to brands is similar to what partners such as NBC have been doing since 2010. These organisations can effectively control which ads are able to show on their videos.
How Will Creators Be Able To Sell Their Ad Space?
Content creators and influencers have been using social media platforms such as Instagram as an effective advertising strategy for a number of years. Over the last couple of years, YouTube has become more prevalent as it can be seen as a more effective method of showcasing a product/brand. For example, an influencer might have a partnership with a cookware brand and could use YouTube as a way of demonstrating how to use a cook a recipe using a particular product.
A creator must have a pre-existing financial partnership with a brand in order to sell ad space to them. This means that they can’t forge new ones just so they can have the option to sell their ad space.
It is likely that this will be more beneficial to those with high profile partnerships with well-known brands. The creators that aren’t fortunate enough to have this level of stature might not benefit from it as much. Instead, they will have to shift their content strategy to find a way to stand out. But as advertising policies occur, it will be harder for them to rely on advertising revenue.
Are There Any Potential Issues?
It has been highlighted by various publications such as The Verge that YouTube hasn’t made it clear if creators and influencers will have to disclose when they have sold an ad to a brand they are working with. This is the case on social media which is why you will see #AD included in a post that contains a paid promotion.
When Is This Going To Be Available?
At the moment, this is only being tested amongst a small number of creators. YouTube has not announced whether or not it will be rolled out further. Creators have been requesting this notion for a while so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it expand more broadly.