YouTube's New Shopping Ads: What You Need To Know

YouTubes New Shopping Ads

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YouTube Debuts New Shopping Ads For Video Creators, Et Al.

On September 29, 2015, YouTube announced its latest advent: YouTube Shopping Ads. Leading up to their announcement at IAB’s (Interactive Advertising Bureau) 2015 MIXX Conference, YouTube had previously begun offering mobile-optimized “Cards,” replacing video annotations designed to boost viewer engagement, and subsequently Trueview for shopping. Now with their new YouTube Shopping Ads, YouTube offers what it believes will be a home run hit for viewers, advertisers, and creators alike.


YouTube’s announcement comes at a particularly interesting time for brands, advertisers, publishers, and video content creators (YouTubers, vloggers, social media influencers) — while the vast majority of publishers who derive revenue from display advertising are reeling from the uptick in ad blocking usage, YouTube content creators, YouTubers, and other prominent social media influencers are enjoying new added revenue streams as brands cultivate deeper collaborations for sponsored and branded content on influencer channels. Brands including Apple, Castrol, Hallmark, Mercedes-Benz, and Blue Apron are all marketing with top YouTubers. This year’s 5th annual Streamy Awards featured brand campaign nominations from Pizza Hut, Nissan, Purina, and more.

With YouTube’s new Shopping Ads, YouTube joins both Pinterest and Instagram in an effort to provide shoppable ad options for brands and advertisers. Furthermore

especially YouTubers who vlog extensively on products, reviews, DIYs, demos, and produce “unboxing,” “haul” style videos.

Why YouTube Shopping Ads?

YouTube’s decision to offer Shopping ads on videos beyond brand-produced video ads is predicated on a variety of factors.

  • Tremendous online viewing growth vs. declining rates of TV viewership: “According to new commissioned custom research conducted by Nielsen, the time 18-49 year olds spend on YouTube grew by 44 percent, while the time they spend watching traditional TV fell by nearly 10 percent over that same time period” (Google Adwords Blog).
  • More than 1 million channels featuring product reviews: YouTube is taking into account the huge popularity of how-to, DIY, product review, unboxing, haul – style videos from an incredibly wide spread of advertiser categories (tech, home, design, fashion, beauty, gaming, CPG, food, et al.). As reported by Wired, “YouTube says it has 40 percent growth in viewership for these types of videos in the past year alone.”
  • Shortening the path to purchase: YouTube’s new Shopping Ads provide advertisers an elegant solution to meeting potential consumers at the point where they are proactively (re)searching for a forthcoming purchase. These ads, if enabled by the YouTube content creator, will allow the viewer to click through to an external site containing the video’s featured products.

How YouTube Shopping Ads Will Work

YouTube Shopping Ads New Google Adwords

YouTube will debut its new Shopping Ads in the upcoming few months. Here’s a quick rundown on how they work:

  1. Advertisers first need to have a Google Merchant Center account and input the requisite product information/inventory.
  2. If allowed/enabled by the YouTube content creator, an algorithm determines the best possible video (based on a variety of factors including context, relevancy, engagement) to display the Shopping Ad icon.
  3. Advertiser is charged only when viewer clicks on actual ad “card” (not charged for clicking on Shopping Ad icon).

As this is a developing topic, stay tuned or subscribe for further updates, news, and a post next week on how the new YouTube Shopping Ads will affect influencers.

For further information on YouTube’s new shopping ads, check out Google’s Adword Blog, and coverage from Wired, Advertising Age, Tubefilter, Venture Beat, and Techcrunch.

Also See Our Posts On:

Top YouTube Influencers – A Quick Resource Guide

5 Best Advertising Campaigns For YouTube 2015

Adblocking Wars: Advertiser Alternatives To Ads