YouTube has unveiled a James Corden-backed program called Training Days today (14 September) at Dmexco, as part of its bid to raise production values of content, and ease advertiser concerns over brand safety on the video sharing network.
Training Days will be produced by the British star along with Ben Winston, Gabe Turner as well as Leo Pearlman, and is slated for a 10-week run from spring next year when viewers will see real-life fans interact with bona fide soccer stars from Europe’s top sides.
Training Days will be the first “ad supported original series born out of Europe”, according to YouTube which also used the trade show to trumpet its claim to an ad viewability rates of 95%, which is backed by third-party measurement providers – a key theme at this year’s Dmexco.
The unscripted series will be produced by the three stars’ production company Fulwell 73, and was announced on stage by YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl, who said the program was the continuation of its original content strategy, which it discussed at length earlier this year at its UpFronts event hosted in New York City.
YouTube also used the two-day conference to talk-up its six-second Bumper Ads format first unveiled in December last year, which it now claims is used by one-in-three “large customers” on the video sharing network, with a 70% increase in the number of advertisers booking such ad slots between Q1 and Q2 this year.
Digital overtook TV in terms of ad spend last year, according to eMarketer numbers, which also cited display (including video) as the biggest advertising medium online. Google-owned YouTube is eager to capture market share as brands seek audiences away from traditional TV screens. This is especially true in the US, where sports viewing numbers dropped 11% annually last week, according to Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser.
However, advertisers at blue chip brands have a number of reservations when it comes to shifting their TV adverting dollars to digital, with brand safety chief among these concerns.
This a fact laid bare a Times of London investigation into brand safety online, which went public during Ad Week Europe, a campaign that led to a number of tier one advertisers to withdraw spend from the platform.
YouTube responded accordingly, and acknowledged its shortcomings in this respect in its proceeding NewFronts event hosted in New York where its chief executive Susan Wojcicki issuing a public apology at its event in May.
YouTube also took this opportunity to explain its ambitions to fund original content that will air specifically on the video sharing site, with James Corden, Katy Perry and Ellen DeGenres all participating in this drive, confirming Johnson & Johnson as its primary advertiser for this drive.