YouTube TV Ads: Understanding How to Reach Your Target Audience

YouTube TV ads

It’s clear YouTube has made its mark as the head honcho of video streaming. But did you know they’ve branched out into the world of TV as well? So, what does that mean for businesses and marketers? Well, since it’s a service that offers a subscription-based TV service supported by advertising, this leads us to the question: Are YouTube TV ads an effective way to reach your target audience?

But before we dig into that, we briefly have to answer the question…

What Does YouTube TV Offer?

youtube tv

YouTube TV (YTTV) is what’s known as a vMPVD (Virtual Multi-Platform Video Distributor) and here are some key YouTube TV features:

  • Enables simultaneous streaming of content on up to three devices – and up to six accounts per household.
  • There are unlimited DVR recordings (no more deleting shows when you’re down to 30%!).
  • You can watch YouTube TV on nearly all supported devices.
  • There’s a no-contract cancellation option with no commitment.
  • You won't get charged any hidden fees (such as DVR or cancellation fees, broadcast or local channel fees, and/or rental box rentals).
  • You get access to live TV, video-on-demand (VOD), and over 85 TV networks including:
    • ABC
    • CBS
    • FOX
    • Local PBS channels
    • BBC America
    • CNBC
    • CNN
    • FOX News
    • MSNBC

Don’t worry, sports fans. It’s not just your regularly scheduled programming and news. YouTube TV also offers some amazing channels to enhance your viewing experience:

youtube sports
  • CBS Sports
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • NFL Network
  • NBC Sports
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • Showtime
  • NFL
  • Redzone
  • HBO is available for a low monthly fee.

Their pricing starts at $65/month – that’s a pretty good deal compared to traditional cable services that can cost $100+/month.

Plus, the YouTube TV bundle offers offline downloads, 5.1 Dolby audio, and live sports streaming features. However, this more comprehensive package will cost you an extra $19.99 per month.

Although it's important to remember this YouTube TV service currently does not have an ad-free version, so all subscribers will see ads.

With YouTube TV, you can watch live channels and traditional TV from the major broadcast and cable TV networks. This means you’ll often see the same ads on YouTube TV as you do on mainstream TV.

Advertising With YouTube TV

advertising youtube tv

Advertising to people who don't need your products or services is essentially a waste of time, energy, and money, right? That’s a given. So, having learned what YouTube TV is, the types of shows it broadcasts and that all subscribers will see ads while watching, the question remains: is TV advertising via YouTube TV right for you?

Luckily, with YouTube TV, users can easily be targeted by:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Location
  • Devices (e.g. smartphones, Android, tablets, and SmartTV screens)

It’s through this advanced targeting that you can make sure the people who see your ad have already shown an interest in related topics. Therefore, they’ll be more likely to interact with you and your brand versus someone who, frankly, is not interested.

Now, if you use topic targeting, you can reach people who are interested in related niches (regardless of whether your product or service has anything to do with the topic). One great example of this comes from regular YouTube.

Let's say you're a travel agency and you have ads for various types of tours. By choosing the topic of "Travel", these ads will appear on any program on YouTube TV that deals with travel (and with YouTube TV, these ads may also appear on a large news network during a popular travel program!).

TV Advertising vs YouTube TV Advertising

In the past, TV marketing did not offer tracking. Youtube Ads, on the other hand, work in a very different way. They make it possible to track key metrics:

  • Amount of views your ad received
  • The conversion rate of the ads

As well as show-level reporting (where your ads appeared), YouTube TV can give you impression-level and device-level reporting.

As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, you can use YouTube Analytics to get some in-depth information not only about your viewers but their level of engagement:

  • Views
  • Clicks
  • Engagements
  • Reach
  • Frequency

These insights allow you to evaluate your ads in order to find ways to make them better. Furthermore, you’ll be able to determine which ads perform well, and adjust your strategies accordingly.

YouTube has become an even more valuable platform thanks to this new marketing channel. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • Over 3 million people subscribe to YouTube TV.
  • Most young adults (60%) in the US watch TV online primarily via streaming services.
  • According to Google, YouTube has over 180 million average views per day. This includes gaming consoles, Chromecasts, and smart TVs.

Types of YouTube TV Ads

youtube ads

YouTube TV currently supports two types of ads:

  • Non-skippable in-stream advertisements
  • Bumper advertisements

*NOTE* Ads on YouTube TV can only be advertised via "guaranteed placements". These are also called "reserved buys", where payment is based on ad impressions.

Advertisers who buy Google Ads on an auction basis may run their ads on YouTube TV – but there’s no guarantee that these ads will run. If you want to make sure your ads appear on YouTube TV, you can always buy placements on a reservation basis instead of using Google Ads auction.

Non-Skippable In-Stream Ads

non-skippable ads

Non-skippable in-stream ads cannot be skipped, as you may have guessed. Viewers must watch them fully before going on to watch their videos. Before, during, and after the video, non-skippable ads can be displayed.

In addition, there are a few stipulations.

All non-skippable video ads should have the following features:

  • It must be posted on YouTube
  • Image specifications for the companion:
    • A 300x60-pixel image
    • PNG, JPG, or static GIF
    • Adhere to Google's guidelines for image ads
    • Max. 1KB
  • The video shouldn’t be longer than 15 seconds

Bumper Ads

bumper ads

An advertisement that appears before, during, or after a YouTube video is called a bumper ad. As with non-skippable in-stream ads, viewers cannot skip bumper ads. According to YouTube, bumper ads can reach a wide audience quickly with a memorable message.

Bumper ads must also meet specific requirements – all of which are the same as the non-skippable ads, except they should be a maximum of six seconds.

If you ask us, advertising on YouTube TV can help you expand your audience reach and might be worth exploring. If you'd like to create the perfect ad to showcase to the YouTube TV audience, send us a message! Our team would love to help you create a captivating YouTube TV ad.