Google-owned YouTube is dialling up its premium advertising ambitions in the UK with the launch of YouTube Select.
The solution, which debuted elsewhere earlier in the year and replaces Google Preferred and Prime packs, aims to help advertisers “build deeper connections with their audiences” by aligning them with popular content on the platform.
It comes at a time when streaming viewership is at an all-time high and as more streamed content is viewed on the TV screen.
In August, media regulator Ofcom revealed that Covid-19 enforced lockdown measures led to a surge in TV watching and online streaming. Its annual study into UK media habits suggested adults spent an average 40% of their waking hours in front of a screen. At the height of lockdown, adults spent an average of six hours and 25 minutes each day staring at screens.
A tipping point
According to ComScore, the average online adult in the UK watches 46 minutes of YouTube per day, with some 96% of UK online adults using it each month. Some 20 million Brits now watch YouTube on their TVs.
Philip Miles, UK sales director, YouTube, says: “This year we have seen a real tipping point as lockdown showed the value and impact of YouTube for the British public with millions turning to the platform everyday to watch the content they love.”
YouTube Select allows brands to access premium content, such as exclusive creator lineups as well as develop bespoke content.
Key features include: line-ups, pre-packaged content of the most watched shows across key categories; Moments and Programmes, which allows brands to align with tentpole events and cultural moments such as the Olympics and Brit Awards, and Custom, for those who want to build their own lineups and curate a tailored content strategy.
Ben McOwen Wilson, YouTube’s UK managing director for YouTube, says: “In a world where consumers have unlimited choice over where and what they view, it’s imperative that advertisers be where their consumers are, and data shows they’re on YouTube.”
For Harriet Perry, Omnicom Media Group UK’s chief digital operations officer, the offering means that it can now create TV expansion packs for its clients to extend the reach of linear by targeting “only channels that have broadcaster quality”.
YouTube Select was first announced in May. In a blog post, YouTube advertising’s vice president of product management Vishal Sharma wrote that YouTube Select is a brand-safe “reimagination and unification” of existing products for premium advertisers.