Despite the fact that Google’s Android operating system brings in a whole lot of revenue through the Play Store, the majority of their products are free, and yet the company makes billions of dollars every year. Maps is free, Gmail is free, Drive has free storage and Google Docs is free as well, so where does the money come from? The answer is simple; ads. This has been true for Google for decades now, and even though users are often divided on the subject, ads are what allows YouTube to be offered for free, as well as services like Gmail and Maps. Now, it looks like Google and YouTube are to start offering real-time ads to be timed with live events and such.
During a blog post detailing the Game Day ads during NFL games, YouTube’s Natalie Marchant, YouTube Sponsorships Program Manager, detailed that 840 Million Minutes of Big Game ads were watched on YouTube last year, more than double the previous year. YouTube is now revamping their AdBlitz offering, adding more content before, during and after the game. Aside from ads that will be running all the time, there will be original content from CollegeHumor graduates Jake and Amir in a new series dubbed “How to Win Game Day” .
The more interesting part of the news today however, is that YouTube is gearing up to offer advertizing partners the ability to run real-time ads. Natalie Marchant writes that ” today we’re opening our Real-time ads beta to more brands including Wix.com, and we plan to roll it out more broadly later this year”. Real-time ads will allow advertizers to run a targeted campaign to tie in with an event or sports broadcast across “YouTube, hundreds of thousands of apps, and over 2 million sites in our Google Display Network”. This could end up being a big deal for the advertizing world, and more than likely result in more revenue for Google at the end of every year. To be able to target users at a specific time in so many place is the thing of dreams for big money advertizers, so it’ll be interesting to see how all of this pans out throughout the rest of 2016. For now though, YouTube will remain on top of big game ads for some time.