YouTube to ‘guarantee’ audiences to spark flow of digital ad revenue

Google-owned YouTube will begin offering brands “guaranteed” audiences for programming, much as TV networks currently do, the Wall Street Journal Sunday reported, trying to persuade marketers to move more cash from traditional TV to online video.

Marketers have sought that promise for years.

The Journal said YouTube has promised to stream ads on channels until the ad reaches a set percentage of the audience the brand is focused o reaching, but only if the advertiser commit to an ad run in advance, much as brands already do with TV networks, the “upfront” market. YouTube also will reserve space for advertisers on its most popular content.

Google sites – primarily YouTube – have the largest share of online video views, according to comScore, with 157.6 million unique viewers in January 2014. Facebook, which also is making inroads into online video advertising, recorded 84.9 million views in January, comScore said.

Digital ad spend is expected to exceed that of television in the United States by 2018, according to eMarketer. TV ad spending will make up 38% of total ad market spend in 2014, according to eMarketer’s report, “U.S. TV Ad Spending: Factors Shaping Today’s Television Market,” but will be overtaken by a rapidly growing digital ad segment.

Brands are especially interested in digital ad delivery because of the ability to better target ad campaigns and the superior metrics they can generate.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn