YouTube’s new ad program aims for viewers watching on TV

Google has built a new advertising program that will help marketers target viewers watching YouTube or YouTube TV on TV screens.

YouTube Select will grow the amount of available upfront ad inventory on YouTube by bringing new channels – focused on categories including beauty, entertainment, technology and sports – into the Google Preferred program.

According to Ad Exchanger, YouTube will make it easier purchase ads on YouTube TV and YouTube on TV screens through “Streaming Lineups,” which can be bought in the upfront or programmatically instead of through Google Ads.

“You can buy on TV screens today, it’s just not easy to do so,” Tara Walpert Levy, vice president of agency and brand solutions at Google, told the publication. “We made it easier and more comparable to the rest of what we do.”

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YouTube is trying to make connected TV advertising easier as many Americans are still staying home to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. While there have been upticks in time spent streaming video and watching linear television, TV advertising could suffer. As Reuters points out, traditional TV advertising revenues could drop by about $12 billion in the first half of 2020 due to brands scaling back and the lack of live sports.

YouTube said its first-quarter advertising revenues reached $4 billion, up 33% year over year, but that the growth trailed off near the end of the quarter as stay at home orders were put in place across the country. Brand advertising growth accelerated in the first two months of the quarter but began to experience a headwind in mid-March, and as a result by the end of March, total YouTube ads revenue growth had decelerated to high single-digit growth rates, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.