Google have just announced plans for a very significant new targeting technology development. Later this year advertisers will be able to reach audiences on YouTube that are defined by data in its users’ Google accounts, and not by the behavioral data records held against cookies.
What does this mean for advertisers?
As tech has developed, it has been increasingly hard for cookies and pixels to adapt to cross-screen use. Neither are capable of adapting to the increase in content engagement by users through Apps on mobile devices. This has lead to frustrations with measurement as well as inconsistent ads shown across devices which are irrelevant to the user.
So, Google will now no longer let third-party ad tech to operate within YouTube, and cookies not belonging to Google will not be set on, nor read from YouTube users’ browsers.
The result of this will hopefully be ads that are not only more relevant, but served at the exact the most impactful times. Moreover, information gathered from users’ Google accounts will be taken into account and used to define your audience segment on YouTube even more. This would include data such as past searches and demographic information. This is in addition to being able to use Customer Match to reach users that mean the most to a brand.
From an advertisers point of view there is no doubt this announcement represents a seismic shift in our ability to target users. Previously to this, very specific targeting needs were typically only satisfied by the likes of Facebook, to now have similar powers within a Google property will cause media planners to re-think strategy. In addition to this, I would argue the data held within the user profile on YouTube is more powerful than that of Facebook due to the nature of the platform. Users digest more content on YouTube than any other platform, this will result in an extremely data-rich profile to be built for each user, and this is before we’ve even considered the data collected from other Google properties.
What does this mean for users?
With the increase in mobile usage on YouTube, at a staggering 50%, users are continuing to digest huge amounts of video content on a consistent basis.
With this rollout, users will continue to have access to the ads that they are served through the controls in their account. However, Google states that they are planning on enabling a user control that has cross-screen as a key factor in the coming weeks. For example, if you mute an ad when it is served to you on any Google search, those ads will also be muted on YouTube. This enables a better user experience and less repetition with targeted ads.
For a Google property like YouTube to move away from cookies will undoubtedly make many in the industry sit up and take note. The implications of this move are likely to be wide reaching and we will be exploring the wider impact in future posts, for now we have the next few months to plan how this impacts strategy for our clients.
If you want to know more about this latest update or have any related questions, please get in touch.