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The Drum Digital Transformation Festival launch

Gordon Young
Editor-in-chief at The Drum

YouTube launches Google Preferred to allow advertisers to be paired with the most popular and engaging channels

Photo by Jon Cartwright

At YouTube’s Brandcast event last night (14 October), the company launched Google Preferred: a way to allow advertisers to reserve inventory from among the top five per cent of YouTube’s most popular and engaging channels.

Explaining the move Eileen Naughton, managing director for UK & Ireland operations and vice-president at Google, said: “Interestingly, in a recent survey AOL found YouTube to be the most effective online platform when it came to raising awareness and driving purchase decisions. We have to make it easy for consumers, and for marketers, to find it (engaging channels on YouTube).

“To identify these top channels, we’ve created the Preference Score: sort of a rating for the digital age. The algorithm ranks channels by popularity and engagement, using signals like watch time, comments, shares, social embeds.

“These are powerful signals. And in tests we’ve run in the US, ads on Google Preferred channels show significantly higher brand awareness and recall.”

At the event, the company revealed that YouTube viewership is growing at 50 per cent YoY and over one billion fans are coming to YouTube every month.

It was also revealed that 45 per cent of all YouTube content consumed in the UK is watched on a mobile phone or tablet.

Robert Kyncl, head of content and business operations at YouTube said that the platform is “investing heavily to turn YouTube stars and channels like Zoella, Vice News and SlowMoGuys into even bigger household names.”

Zoella, YouTube creator, added: “I think people watch YouTube because they can watch whatever content they want - everything from learning how to apply makeup to changing a hoover bag - and the advice is from real people who they can connect with. We’re normal people and we’re just filming our lives.”

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