YouTube Finally Explains The Google Preferred Program At Brandcast 2014

This year’s NewFronts have been a plethora of highs and lows. By the account of every spectator there, one of those highs must certainly be YouTube’s Brandcast event in Madison Square Garden, where the world’s largest video sharing website finally shared more details about their role the Google Preferred program.

The program has already been widely reported for months, with YouTube trying to renew advertiser confidence in their inventory (read: create scarcity and drive CPMs back up to the rates commanded by competitors like Yahoo and AOL). Advertisers that commit to buying large amounts of advertising space on the platform will now have the opportunity to limit their reach on the platform.

Sounds counter-intuitive, right? – However, when you consider that over 100 hours of video is uploaded to the site every minute, being able to skip the cat videos and target your advertising exclusively to the top 1% or 5% of YouTube channels this is huge win for everyone involved. Advertisers can expect greater return on investment and less risk to their brands, while top YouTubers get access to greater earnings.

It’s still unclear how this will affect smaller and mid-tier YouTubers who produce high quality content but whose videos won’t be sold as premium inventory for advertisers, but we will keep you updated.

Speaking about the Preferred Program, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said: “We’re in the middle of a big revolution with video

“It’s all changing and YouTube is playing a key role. I wanted to play a key role in that revolution.”

A key part of Wojcicki’s role since taking over the top spot at YouTube Her role has been listening to gripes from advertisers dissatisfied with both engagement and the inventory. YouTube is trying to be a more effective advertising platform while still allowing everyone and anyone to upload and monetize video on the site. The Preferred Program is the first step in that endeavor, distinguishing top-tier content from the cat videos and allowing advertisers to target either all top-tier talent or specific verticals within that top tier, such as Comedy, Sports, or Food.

This tip tier of talent is determined by what YouTube calls a ‘P Score,’ which is calculated by a weighted ranking of viewership, engagement, social activity, and numerous other metrics. This is why many of the people in the top 1% are not all that popular, with some having  less than 250,000 subscribers.

YouTube’s newly announced partnerships with both ComScore and Nielsen also allow for new advanced analytics for advertisers and fresh data for evaluating campaign effectiveness, alongside new tools to measure interest in real time. Couple that with a reach guarantee, meaning advertisers will always be able to reach their targeted audience without the ‘make goods’ and other wrangling associated with traditional advertising, and you have a powerful addition to Google’s advertising arsenal.

Vice, The Young Turks, PewDiePie, SmarterEveryDay, TobyTurner, Bruno Mars, SORTED Food, RocketJump, TMZ, and The Fine Bros are just a few of the channels with a ‘P Score’ high enough to be part of the program at launch.

Check out a short recap of the 2014 YouTube Brandcast below:

Stephen Doble

From his London office, Stephen leads our new media industry coverage at Videoter.