Vevo ups human moderation and offers brands better measurement in shift towards TV-style model

Vevo ups human moderation and offers brands better measurement in shift towards TV-style model

Digital video platform Vevo – which is also one of YouTube’s biggest content partners – has announced a series of changes to the way it moderates and measures advertising as it edges closer to a TV-style advertising model.

Amid ongoing advertiser concerns about the quality of inventory on user-generated content, plus the effectiveness of ads on such platforms, the video company has formalised the safeguards it affords to clients on both its own site and on YouTube.

The move includes the ability to rate every individual piece of Vevo content using both human moderation processes, as well as AI.

Videos will be measured against a series of 21 categories to determine whether or not they are suitable for certain advertisers; including whether they contain references to drugs and alcohol, violence, nudity or explicit language.

Vevo, which is joint owned by Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, and its core offering is premium music content.

This means it doesn’t face the same challenges around user-generated content that advertisers are faced with on platforms such as YouTube over issues such as brand safety, according to the company.

In recent years it has battled against the perception that it is part of YouTube, and just last year Vevo's chief sales officer Kevin McGurn described it as an "oasis in the desert" of the brand safety crisis.

Vevo's play also follows on from YouTube's latest brand safety crisis in which it was criticised for relying too heavily on AI to filter out unsavoury content. As a result, YouTube has likewise promised to add more human reviewers to its team.

In addition to these changes, Vevo will now offer a product it is calling 'guaranteed reach' as part of its ad stack. This means digital reach will be measured using Nielsen's Digital Ad Ratings, effectively mimicking the currency used by TV buyers by letting brands purchase against their core audience.

"Unlike other sites or services, Vevo is giving brands the peace of mind and metrics they are used to in television and have been craving in the digital space," McGurn wrote in a blog post.

"This combination of guaranteed demographics, with guaranteed reach, in a brand safe TV content ratings system, is the ultimate product for advertisers to maximise their performance in premium video," he added.

Vevo last year outlined its ambitions to become the Hulu of music. It reportedly locked in $200m in year-long ad commitments in 2017 after shifting to 'upfront' selling to capitalise on big music video reveals from stars like Taylor Swift.

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