Google reportedly pitching publishers on YouTube video player with ad inventory controls
YouTube is also touting the early success of efforts to address brand safety issues as it reportedly aims to get its video player on more publisher sites.
Just as Google has issued another update on its efforts to address advertisers’ brand safety concerns on YouTube, AdvertisingAge is reporting the company is shopping a new YouTube solution for publishers.
According to Ad Age, YouTube is offering publishers the ability to control the ads served on their YouTube videos when they use its video player. To sweeten the deal, the player and accompanying analytics are free.
While some publishers are weary of giving Google yet another hook into their businesses, The Atlantic’s Kim Lau told Ad Age that YouTube’s player and analytics are superior to other video players and that there is appeal to “consolidating our video strategy.” In The Atlantic’s case, that consolidation means a move away from video hosting and distribution platform Brightcove.
Giving publishers the option to manage their own ad inventory sales on the YouTube video player would mark a shift away from controlling the ads that are sold into it and signals an acknowledgement of changing expectations among publishers who have other third-party players to choose from — not to mention Facebook’s own Audience Direct program aimed at automating publisher’s direct-sold video ad deals — and the benefits of winning access to premium publisher content that provides a brand-safe environment for advertisers.
On Tuesday, the YouTube team released an update on steps it’s been taking to to combat ads showing on controversial videos over the past month following advertiser protest this spring. Those steps included adding more flexibility in determining when videos should be ineligible for monetization, adding more human reviewers, deploying machine learning to more quickly remove ads, and teaming up with organizations like Jigsaw to expand counter-radicalization tactics on the platform.
YouTube says the program to remove ads and limit exposure of videos that don’t explicitly violate Google policies but are found to contain supremacist or controversial religious content will start to roll out on desktop in the coming weeks, then extend to mobile. “These new approaches entail significant new internal tools and processes, and will take time to fully implement,” said the YouTube team.
The machine-learning algorithms are now able to detect extremist content more quickly and often more accurately than human reviewers. Over 75 percent of the videos removed for depicting or promoting violent extremism over the past month were pulled before they were flagged by a reviewer or user, according to YouTube. The updated systems doubled the rate and volume of removing videos for violent extremism in the last month, said the company.
YouTube’s bottom line apparently didn’t suffer much impact from advertiser boycotts in April. Parent company Alphabet highlighted YouTube’s continued growth in its Q2 earnings report. The platform now has 1.5 billion monthly viewers, with 60 minutes per day being watched on mobile devices.