Nielsen adds YouTube TV to audience measurement

Nielsen has announced that YouTube TV viewership at designated market levels (DMAs) will now be included in Nielsen Local TV audience measurement using Digital in TV Ratings (DTVR). This follows the introduction of YouTube TV into national TV ratings with DTVR last summer and is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to measure viewing everywhere as content consumption continues evolve.

To measure local media viewing, Nielsen developed DMA regions that group counties that form common local TV markets. There are currently 210 DMA regions across the US. By including YouTube TV in local ratings using DTVR, Nielsen says it will programmers and advertisers across these local DMAs to gain a more comprehensive view of audiences engaging with linear TV programming across digital platforms.

“Local broadcasters have been eagerly anticipating the inclusion of YouTube TV into Nielsen currency measurement,” said Jeff Wender, Managing Director, Nielsen Local. “We’re excited to be able to help local media buyers and sellers capture digital audiences, as well as provide advertisers a full account of all viewing activity, irrespective of distribution channel.”

YouTube ditches creators, targets TV users and reaches 25% of the world

YouTube ditches creators, targets TV users and reaches a quarter of the world

At its annual Brandcast event last week, YouTube said more than 1.8 billion users – almost 25% of the world’s 7.6 billion population – log into the streaming platform each month. It represents a 20% increase from the year before and a substantial increase from its total in 2013, of 1 billion.

Alphabet – which owns Google, YouTube’s parent – earned more than $95 billion in advertising revenue last year. Estimates put the total amount of online ad revenue at around $300 billion. EMarketer estimates that around 11% of this revenue comes from YouTube. If true, this would make YouTube one of the largest advertising platforms in the world.

YouTube targets TV users

Brandcast did more than demonstrate the immense influence and scale of YouTube; it also showed a change of strategy. The company announced, “over 150 million hours of YouTube watch time was recorded per day on TV screens alone.”

“The YouTube content is actually scaling for TV incredibly well,” said YouTube Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl. “It is our fastest growing screen of all screens.”

The company will add TV screens to the list of devices that advertisers can target through AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager. For brands chasing cord-cutters, the company is introducing a new audience segment called “light TV viewers.” Targeting the new segment will allow advertisers to reach YouTube viewers who watch most of their videos on the television.

Companies can now buy TV inventory through the Google Preferred ad program. vMVPD users subscribers Q4 2017Google is adding the TV network ad inventory it gets through YouTube TV to the program. The move will allow brands to target audiences watching the most popular YouTube content and traditional TV shows in a single campaign.

YouTube touted its new vMVPD service, YouTube TV, as momentous. Though it hasn’t revealed monthly subscribers, it said the service is now available in more than 85% of US households. It is also the largest vMVPD service available. According to data from TiVo, 9% of consumers used the service in Q4 2017, more than double its biggest rival.

However, television wasn’t the only strategic change targeted by the platform.

YouTube ditches its creators for celebs

It’s no secret that YouTube enjoys massive popularity with the young Gen Z demographic. These children and young adults idolize internet sensations such as Logan Paul, Pewdiepie, and Liza Koshy. However, during Brandcast these stars were nowhere to be found. There was, however, no shortage of familiar faces.

Will Smith, Priyanka Chopra, Kevin Hart, and Demi Lovato were just some of the stars at the event as YouTube looked to “shine a light on human stories that inspire us.” The top Hollywood talent took center stage, while it was tough to find a single YouTube creator in the mix. YouTube announced new videos and partnerships with these celebrities. For example, Will Smith will bungee jump from a helicopter, and Demi Lovato will star in a show to build awareness, both efforts to help highlight the inspiring stories campaign.

read more here:

Europe will regulate video sharing platforms like Youtube

The European Parliament, Council and Commission announced last week that they reached an agreement on the main elements of revised rules to apply to audiovisual media across Europe. The new rules will cover not only the traditional TV broadcasters but also the Video on Demand (VOD) providers, like Netflix, and Video sharing platforms, like Youtube.

The extension to VOD and Video Sharing platforms is limited. These platforms will have to protect minors from harmful content (which may impair the physical, mental or moral development), access to which would have to be restricted; and protect all citizens from incitement to hatred.

The European Commission says “that audiovisual media is increasingly target markets across national borders. At the end of 2013, more than 5,000 TV channels (not counting local channels and windows) were established in the EU. Of these, almost 2,000 targeted foreign markets (either EU or extra-EU). This share had increased from 28% in 2009 to 38% in 2013. As far as video-on-demand services are concerned, 31% of the video-on-demand services available in a Member State are established in another EU country. This underpins the continued added value of the EU action in this area.”

The directive on revision is called AVMSD – Audiovisual Media Services Directive – and it is in public debate / consultation since 2015.

One of the main news on the advertising is that TV broadcasters will not have anymore a limit of 12 minutes per hour of advertising. Instead, TV broadcasters will remain only with the 20% limit of broadcasting time, between 6:00 to 18:00.

Here the announced updates of the revised AVMSD:

– Strengthened Country of Origin Principle with more clarity on which Member State’s rules apply in each case, and the same procedures for both TV broadcasters and on-demand service providers as well as possibilities for derogations in the event of public security concerns and serious risks to public health.

– Better protection of minors against harmful content whether on TV or video-on-demand services. The new rules envisage that video-sharing platforms put appropriate measures in place to protect minors.

– European audiovisual rules extended to video-sharing platforms. The revised Directive will also apply to user-generated videos shared on platforms, e.g. Facebook, when providing audiovisual content is an essential functionality of the service.

– Stronger rules against hate speech and public provocation to commit terrorist offences thatprohibit incitement to violence or hatred and provocation to commit terrorist offences in audiovisual media services.

– The rules will also apply to video-sharing platforms to protect people from incitement to violence or hatred and content constituting criminal offences.

read more here:

YouTube Ads Aim at Cord Cutters

YouTube wants to siphon off more advertising dollars out of the traditional TV ecosystem.

Google’s video platform is promising Madison Avenue new ways to reach people watching YouTube on TV screens — as well as target YouTube ads to cord-cutters and consumers who don’t watch a lot of traditional TV.

YouTube says connected TVs represent its fastest-growing device category, thanks in part to the growth of YouTube TV, its over-the-top “skinny bundle” pay-TV service launched last year.

While overall mobile accounts for over half of all YouTube videos viewed, users now watch more than 150 million hours daily of YouTube on television screens worldwide. That’s up 50% from 100 million hours per day in the past six months. (One year ago, total viewing on YouTube was around 1 billion hours per day; Google declined to provide an updated figure.)

“We are seeing more YouTube being watched on TV screens, and more TV content being watched on YouTube — it’s the ultimate convergence of video,” said Debbie Weinstein, managing director, YouTube/video global solutions at Google. “Advertisers are saying, ‘What are you building for me to reach YouTube viewers on TV?’”

Here are the three ad programs YouTube is rolling out:

“Light TV viewers” targeting:

In the next few months, YouTube will introduce a new audience segment in AdWords called “light TV viewers.” These are consumers who, based on Google and YouTube’s metrics, watch most of their TV and video content online — and are much less likely to subscribe to pay TV.

YouTube on TV screens:

For the first time, advertisers will be able to reach audiences specifically on television screens through AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager. That option will join the existing ability to target YouTube viewers on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.

YouTube TV ad inventory will be available through Google Preferred: So far, Google hasn’t sold ads for its OTT “virtual pay-TV” service. Starting in the fourth quarter of 2018, inventory on some U.S. cable networks on YouTube TV will be available as an extension to Google Preferred, the premium ad program for the top 5% most popular YouTube channels.

The “light TV viewers” targeting — which will span ads across all device platforms — is particularly interesting to advertisers who are trying to reach audiences that have become very hard to find on conventional TV, Weinstein said. More than 50% of U.S. consumers aged 18-49 in U.S. are “light” TV viewers (in the bottom one-third of the total TV audience based on minutes viewed), according to Nielsen. However, 90% of that group watches YouTube videos, according to Weinstein.

Meanwhile, Google is looking to dial up the ad monetization on YouTube TV. First launched in April 2017, YouTube TV is now available in 99 of 100 top U.S. designated market areas, reaching some 85% of the nation’s TV households. As you’d expect, most viewing of YouTube TV is on TV, with television screens accounting for more than 70% of the total watch-time.

Starting later this year, YouTube TV ad inventory will be added to Google Preferred. Weinstein noted that YouTube TV ads bought through Google Preferred will be dynamically inserted, letting advertisers target ads based on demographic profiles rather than just showing everyone the same ad as with the majority of traditional TV buys.

This January, YouTube said all videos in Google Preferred will be reviewed by human moderators before they’re eligible for monetization. That came after a series of “brand safety” blowups in the past year, when advertisers discovered spots unexpectedly running against hate speech and other content they didn’t want to be associated with.

read more here:

How Vevo Stays At The Top Of The Charts On YouTube

As a joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, Vevo creates and distributes more than 330,000 music videos across YouTube and its owned-and-operated channels. Vevo gets access to YouTube’s massive audience, and YouTube gets a cut of the revenue.

With 30 million viewers per day and 116 million per month in the US, according to comScore, Vevo has a valuable audience to sell.

“We package up the top stars in the world and sell that to advertisers,” said Kevin McGurn, chief sales officer at Vevo. “The mass majority of what we do is on audience and the media around it.”

Vevo’s valuable audience and artist relationships have allowed it to thrive through YouTube’s brand-safety debacle. It sustained reach and traffic on the platform, even when YouTube consolidated Vevo subscribers under artists’ accounts in January.

Vevo has maintained 20-30% growth for the past few years, and its inventory recently became available to a broader base of buyers through Googled Preferred.

“We’re a growth story in what is otherwise a massive amount of shrinkage in TV,” McGurn said.

But YouTube isn’t the be-all and end-all for Vevo. While the network has allowed music labels to capture many of the eyeballs that left networks like MTV and VH1 during the rise of the internet, Vevo is still vying to bring them back to the living room.

“YouTube is the largest video search engine in the world, but DirecTV Now, Sony PlayStation Vue and others have the potential to allow users to curate their own music video experiences,” McGurn said. “We watch them closely and think about how we can maximize that.”

How do you differentiate your sales strategy on YouTube?

KEVIN MCGURN: We sell sponsorships against the catalog we represent from Universal Music and Sony – the audience Vevo represents – as a standalone. In most cases, brands buy us first and then go to Google Preferred to get that broader reach.

Most buyers see us as well-differentiated as a legacy, and we enhance that with new products. For brand safety, we offer advertisers the ability to buy on TV content ratings.

We also offer guaranteed reach. Marketers have asked for a long time to limit the frequency of their campaigns. We’re able to fulfill that and transact on it. That helps us differentiate from the traditional go-to-market for Google Preferred.

Did your reach take a hit when YouTube moved all of Vevo’s subscribers from your channel to individual artist accounts?

We haven’t seen tremendous fluctuation in traffic. We track with the growth rate of YouTube because we’re such large percentage of their viewership. It fluctuates with channels and creators, but we have so many channels and so much content on a weekly basis [that] our growth continues to be strong.

How did YouTube’s brand-safety issues affect you?

We’re probably beneficiaries of the changes. YouTube is making maneuvers that will point to a video that’s brand-safe and monetizable. We would be that video in many cases.

We’ve always been brand-safe. We have the world’s largest celebrities. We have a network of folks looking at every video before it goes live and algorithmic curation.

How do you balance the traffic you drive to YouTube versus your own site?

I look at YouTube as an MVPD much like Comcast or DirecTV. At the core, it’s just SEO – trying to figure out ways for the recommendation and search engines to point to your videos more than others. That’s standard practice on YouTube. The platform is fairly agnostic to the buyer. We try to grow all of the channels that we think are relevant to the end user.

What could cause your YouTube traffic to decline?

A change in the algorithm. YouTube is trying to optimize for the most time spent and the highest traffic. They have a lot of controls to point people in the direction of content they feel might get a higher level of engagement.

The influx of content can change how much you’re getting shown. The recency and frequency of video uploads is a good indicator of viewership. We have a pretty eternal spring of content based on our partnership with music labels, so we ride above that ebb and flow that other markets might suffer from.

Brands hate that you can’t measure advertising on YouTube. What metrics are available to you?

We generally just sell audiences measured by Nielsen. I know about the other struggles with who gets to measure what inside the walled garden. There’s definitely more work to do. By no means is measurement where we want it to be.

What can YouTube do better as a media platform?

User-generated and premium content should be treated differently. The production quality, expenditure and talent that professional content represents should be separated.

I’m not a proponent of training viewers to skip advertising. I don’t think it represents the appropriate tax a user should pay to access professional content. YouTube doesn’t offer the ability to change the amount of skippable or TrueView ads called to professional content. That should be a control of the content provider, not the platform, regardless of the user experience.

The economics of MVPDs are a nod toward the production quality and spend it takes to generate these videos. It’s why you don’t see full-length TV shows on YouTube or Facebook. They don’t have an economic equation that warrants a multimillion-dollar episode production.

Why work with them if they don’t treat your content fairly?

It represents the largest distribution opportunity in the world. A music video is ripe for piracy if you don’t allow it to exist on the biggest-reaching platform. You want people to access it in a brightly lit environment.

But that environment has to treat it differently than user-generated content. I would never say YouTube isn’t the right place for music videos. It just so happens that YouTube has been the only game in town for the past 12 to 13 years, but that could change.

read more here:

Youtube invades the Prime Time slot

A Google-commissioned study by Nielsen found that more adults watch YouTube on mobile than any other cable network alone during primetime. People watching on mobile are trading passive lean-back TV viewing for active lean-forward smartphone engagement.

YouTube is more popular than cable (0:27)

The Nielsen findings reveal two very interesting points which are worth exploring.

The first is that more adults are watching YouTube than any other cable network. The transition to online viewing has been happening for quite some time however it comes as a surprise that users find YouTube more appealing than any of the usual cable networks. YouTube has very little original programming or big-budget series. So, what are users watching?

According to the data, the top categories people watch are comedy, music, entertainment/pop, and “how to” videos. This type of content differs significantly from typical mainstream television, such as dramas, reality tv, and sports. Users seem to be preferring short comedy skits, music videos, celebrity interviews and educational videos. So why have viewers shifted their focus from the traditionally popular TV genres to YouTube shorts? The answer may lie in the device they are using, the smartphone.

Mobile viewing begets attention (1:25)

3-of-4 users watch YouTube on their mobile phone during primetime. While the popularity of YouTube might not be a surprise the way, people are watching it could be. Typically, at the end of a long workday, people slump on the couch and watch whatever takes their fancy on television. For many people, this behavior seems no longer to be the case. More users are pulling out their phones instead.

This new habit creates new viewing preferences. There are two modes in which we typically consume content: lean-forward mode, and lean-back mode.

Lean-back mode usually involves relaxing on a couch or lounge chair, passively watching video on a television screen. In this mode, we are not actively engaged with what we are watching. We are entertaining ourselves, relaxing, and killing time.

Lean-forward mode, however, involves exploring a passion, finding information about something or someone, or learning how to do something. In this mode, we are usually sitting upright and using our mobile phones. Users are more actively engaged in this circumstance. The study shows that “YouTube mobile users are 2x as likely to pay close attention while watching YouTube compared to TV users while watching TV.”

However, this begs the question: Why do consumers choose to be in lean-forward mode during primetime when they could be relaxing?

Is mobile taking over primetime? (2:50)

There could be many reasons for the move to watch on smartphones during primetime. Maybe the increase in mobile phone use has caused our habit to spill over into time usually spent relaxing. Maybe viewers enjoy an increase in attention and engagement. Maybe the content YouTube has is more appealing. Alternatively, maybe when users sit on the couch, they are simply too lazy to reach for the remote.

The specific reasons why we are spending primetime on our phones instead of the television are not clear. All we know is that we are.

read more here:

YouTube TV rockets to top of vMVPD list in 2017

YouTube has been spending big to promote its vMVPD service. According to the latest data from TiVo, the service was used by 9% of consumers in Q4 2017. That would make it more than twice as big as its biggest rival.

YouTube TV ad blitz working

YouTube TV has been on an ad blitz for the last several months. The service was a very visible sponsor of Baseball’s World Series, spent big on other TV ad campaigns, and is doing more of the same this year. It is also advertising extensively to regular YouTube users. According to TiVo’s new Q4 2017 Video Trends Report data, the marketing spending is paying off.

TiVo added YouTube TV to the quarterly survey for the first time in Q4 2017. An amazing 9% say they use the service. The next nearest service, DirectTV Now, has less than half of YouTube TV’s total, and Sling TV has less than a third. We should perhaps treat the YouTube TV number cautiously. It is possible some survey respondents confused YouTube TV with YouTube on TV. That said, even if YouTube TV has just half the number of users as TiVo indicates, it is still the new category leader.

The TiVo numbers suggest the size of the vMVPD market could be much larger than the 4.5 million estimated. Dish Network reports that Sling TV has 2.2 million subscribers. YouTube TV could already have more than 4 million subscribers, and it could also mean the total number of vMVPD subscribers is almost double the previous estimates.

SVOD continues its inexorable advance

TiVo’s data says that SVOD continues to grow in all dimensions. 68% say they use an SVOD service, up more than 4% over the previous year. Netflix continues to dominate, with 55% saying they use the service. 26% use Amazon Prime Video, 17% use Hulu, and 6% use HBO NOW.

Spending on SVOD services increased strongly. The number of people spending more than $15 a month increased from 27% in Q4 2016 to 35% one year later. However, it could be vMVPDs that are driving this number, rather than people subscribing to multiple SVOD services. Only one vMVPD, Sling TV, has a tier below $21 a month. The rest charge $35 or more per month. The increase in the number of people spending over $21 a month was 9%, with 7% paying over $30.

Time spent with the services also increased. 93% of people that subscribe to SVOD services say they use the service every day, 3% higher than two years ago. As well, the number of people that say they use their service for less than 1 hour a month decreased 10%, to 12%. Meanwhile, those using their service for 2 hours a day or more increased dramatically. A third say they watch their SVOD services for more than 3 hours a day, and almost a half watch from 1 to 3 hours per day.

TVOD continues its slow drift downwards

Transactional VOD continues to struggle in the digital era. The number of people saying they had rented or purchased a movie or show online declined slightly over the last year, to 37%. Amazon maintained and slightly extended its lead, with 18% saying they used Amazon’s video store in Q4 2017. Redbox kiosk users fell slightly to 13%. Apple also lost a little ground to Amazon, with only 8% of saying they used iTunes in Q4. Google Play looks as though it may overhaul iTunes this year. It gained slightly more users and is only a little behind iTunes.

read more here:

Gen Z discovering music on YouTube, but not listening

Sweety High, a digital media company for Gen Z girls, has released its first Gen Z Music Consumption & Spending Report, which reveals research around the preferences of the powerhouse cohort. According to the report, while YouTube ranks as the top platform for music discovery (75 per cent), more than half of respondents also cite Radio (58 per cent) and Movies and TV Shows they watch (57 per cent) as top sources for exploring new artists.

Additionally, while they may have grown up in an age of reality TV, Gen Z shies away from talent featured on competition shows: they appreciate contestants’ talent but are unlikely to listen to their music after the show ends (78 per cent).

While streaming platforms, like Spotify, ranked second for music discovery (70 per cent), the service is Gen Z’s top choice for frequent listening (61 per cent). YouTube drops to 6th when it comes to general listening (30 per cent), with more Gen Z respondents preferring to listen to music they own, via CDs (38 per cent) or iTunes (36 per cent). When it comes to overall consumption, streaming services have clearly become the new normal, with 66 percent of Gen Z saying they use both for discovery AND listening, vs. Radio (55 per cent) or YouTube (25 per cent).

“Music plays a pivotal role in Gen Z’s lives. They have more options than ever to find undiscovered music, and Gen Z embrace that diversity in their music genres (nearly all, 97 per cent say they listen to 5 different genres regularly) and platforms, blending a mix of new and traditional media options for music discovery and consumption,” said Frank Simonetti, CEO, Sweety High.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

– The majority of this demographic take pride in their variety of music taste (78 per cent) — preferring to listen to a wide range of artists and genres rather than just one style.
– So, what is Gen Z listening to? Pop takes the cake, with more than 3 in 4 respondents claiming it as their top choice in music, followed by Rock (51 per cent) and Rap (50 per cent).
– While only 1 in 5 fans is wooed by a band or artist’s social media presence, 2 out of 3 respondents say they follow artists they like on social and over 80 per cent agree that it’s important for artists to be active on social.
– Love of the music is their top motivation for liking an artist or band (94 per cent), while a shared preference among their friends runs a distant second (36 per cent).
– As to where they find artists and new music, YouTube ranks as the top platform for discovery (75 per cent), followed by streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora (70 per cent), and social networks like Instagram and Facebook (62 per cent).
– Beyond the digital medium, more than half cite Terrestrial Radio (58 per cent) and Movies/TV Shows (57 per cent) as major sources of music discovery.

read more here:

YouTube algorithm favors scandalous content

YouTube’s acquisition by Google in 2005 brought a new focus on search to the video sharing company. The shift heralded the birth of the YouTube algorithm. The algorithm helped YouTube morph from an engine driving embedded video at other sites into the top destination for video online.

YouTube’s algorithm dictates what videos to recommend, suggest, relate, and play next, as well as which videos appear in your search results. Over the years it has evolved to maximize ‘watch time’ over ‘views.’ The algorithm helped YouTube win a Peabody award for “promoting democracy,” and Entertainment weekly heralded it as a ‘safe home’ for creators. It was during this time that it came to dominate online video by a very wide margin.

Today, YouTube’s algorithm can predict what users will select even before they know themselves. Personalization and more advanced predictive analytics keep users glued to their screens. As Jim McFadden, the technical head behind ‘suggested videos’ on YouTube, put it:

“We also wanted to serve the needs of people when they didn’t necessarily know what they wanted to look for.”

The approach has been very successful. Speaking at Google IO in 2017, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said that users watched more than a billion hours of video per day.

With an algorithm as powerful as this, comes great responsibility. Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t seem able to measure up.

YouTube’s algorithm a big part of the problem

Though incredibly successful at keeping users watching on its platform, YouTube’s success has come at a cost. Though it is effective at choosing videos which are entertaining it is very poor at picking which videos are factual or appropriate.

According to an ex-YouTube insider, the recommendation algorithm has promoted divisive clips and conspiracy videos. For example, during the shooting in Las Vegas, the top video search results on YouTube claimed it was a government conspiracy. Despite all the outrage, the same thing happened again after the recent Florida shooting.

Kids content is not safe either. As nScreenMedia pointed out, many top kids’ channels on YouTube were found to contain disturbing and inappropriate content. One such channel was Toyfreaks, which had 8.53 million subscribers at the time of its removal. Though YouTube apologized for both these and other incidents inappropriate content is still making it onto its kids’ channel.

The biggest controversy, however, came with One of YouTube’s top creators, Logan Paul. A video he posted showed him laughing and joking around a dead body in Japan’s suicide forest. Despite the backlash and negative press it received, and perhaps partly because of it, the video made it onto YouTube’s most watched videos trending page. The video was deleted, and YouTube and Paul apologized profusely. Unfortunately for them, copies of the original video were re-uploaded. Once again, the copies appeared on YouTube’s trending page with one ranked 2nd and another 20th.

YouTube’s algorithm will not change despite the backlash

YouTube has been trying to fix the problem. It has hired thousands of human reviewers to monitor large channels. However, this “whack-a-mole” strategy, of removing videos after there is an uproar, does little to prevent the video from being uploaded in the first place.

YouTube seems unable to deliver a technical or business solution to prevent the cycle of posting of offensive material, public apology, removal, and re-upload.

The bitter truth is that no matter how misinformed, disturbing, or controversial these videos may have been they were watched by millions of people! YouTube’s algorithm prioritizes all that watch time over the appropriateness of the content.

read more here:

AT&T still won’t advertise on Youtube

The effects of YouTube’s “adpocalypse” continue to reverberate even after the video platform has changed its practices to help ensure that marketers’ ads will no longer run alongside problematic content. AT&T, which pulled its YouTube ads along with many other brands back in March 2017, has yet to return to the video platform.

According to the New York Times, AT&T’s chief brand officer, Fiona Carter, said that “too much of the content our advertising could appear against was not brand safe — it was objectionable by any measure.” She added that “nothing beats human review” when it comes to determining a video’s brand safety, suggesting that YouTube’s algorithms and filters fall short.

YouTube has already promised that humans would manually review all videos made by creators in the Google Preferred tier, the top five percent of creators in terms of engagement and viewership. “We expect to complete manual reviews of Google Preferred channels and videos by mid-February in the U.S. and by the end of March in all other markets where Google Preferred is offered,” wrote YouTube in a January blog post. The blog post also noted more rigid requirements for channels seeking ad money. Before, a channel just needed 10,000 total views to make it into the Partner Program. Now, it will need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the past year to become eligible for advertising revenue.

Still, AT&T isn’t convinced. In fact, the telecommunications company is working on its own alternative to advertising in brand unsafe places like YouTube and Facebook.

In a pitch focused on brand safety, AT&T is touting its own private marketplace for advertising across its OTT properties, DirecTV and DirecTV Now. According to Digiday, which obtained AT&T’s pitch deck, the company’s advertising and analytics CEO Brian Lesser explained how YouTube and Facebook fail to offer a “quality environment” for advertisers and presented AT&T’s new offering as a digital video advertising alternative to brands who care about the entertainment content with which they’re associated.

AT&T’s pitch cites the limited competition in the OTT space (which includes Hulu, YouTube, Sling, and Netflix) and mentions a more tailored, individualized approach to helping agencies place their OTT advertisements.

Meanwhile, brand safety remains as big a concern as ever on YouTube. Between one Logan Paul mishap after another and a whole slew of dubious children’s content, the video platform’s content hasn’t been the most reassuring for brands who decided to pull advertising along with AT&T back in March. That being said, many other brands have put their advertising back on the platform, but with extra cautionary measures in place. JP Morgan Chase, for instance, advertises on YouTube with the help of an internal plugin that the finance giant created itself to ensure its ads are appearing on channels that aren’t home to objectionable content.

read more here: