YouTube opens up ads to third party stats
James R | On 08, Sep 2015
YouTube is planning to give advertisers access to independent statistics on how their ads are performing.
YouTube has become a natural destination for advertisers in the online video age, thanks to its active community and large volume of traffic. That, in turn, has helped to establish the site’s dominance in the streaming landscape because it gives creators a way to earn revenue from their content – a fact that has proven a key distinguishing factor between YouTube and fledgling rival Facebook.
As the social network continues its attempts to woo vloggers, YouTube is now courting the other half of its successful business model.
The site will, for the first time, allow partners to independently check what proportion of their adverts can be seen on the site.
Sources tell the Financial Times that it is a response to complaints by Unilever and Kellogg’s, who have become concerned about the value of their money spent on the site.
Why wouldn’t an advert be seen? It could be because it sits in a part of the page that is outside of a user’s browser window or that the page is minimised while the ad is playing. The cereal giant, the FT adds, reportedly stopped paying to advertise because it could not verify for itself what proportion of its ads had a chance to be seen.
Now, YouTube is caving in to demands from advertisers, allowing third-party verification on adverts’ position and context. The move is expected to be implemented by the end of 2015 with companies such as ComScore, DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science likely to offer verification services.
A Google spokesperson told the paper: “We’re committed to meeting all of our clients’ measurement needs” and “are taking our clients’ feedback into account as we continue to roll out new solutions”.
Much like views of videos, though – already a hotly debated topic – what counts as a “view” of an advert is not universally agreed. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a view is counted when at least half of an advert’s pixels are visible for two consecutive seconds. Not everyone accepts this definition.
Keith Weed, chief marketing officer of Unilever, told the FT that the company is keen for transparency within online advertising to become the norm: “We see the industry continuing to move in the right direction. Our hope is that these steps will ultimately lead to 100 per cent viewability through third-party verification across the industry.”