Video giant YouTube is expanding into premium TV via the YouTube TV initiative, and Google has revealed that it will soon begin using its Google Preferred platform to sell advertisements on the new service. This move was announced as part of the NewFronts advertising blitz that happens in the digital world once every year, during which a number of companies try to woo advertisers and score new revenue channels for their services. Google's somewhat bold move will put the same ads in front of YouTube TV subscribers that are seen by viewers watching the top 5% of YouTubers without YouTube Red's ad blocking turned on.
The YouTube Preferred platform is a place for advertisers willing to pay a bit extra, such as top multinational brands and household entertainment names, to ensure that their ads won't end up alongside content that's malicious, clickbait, or just plain bad. In order to get approved for this ad network, which pays out more than usual and has a number of perks, YouTubers have to follow strict guidelines and have such large audiences that they're essentially famous. Even this has not protected the platform from being a point of controversy in the past, of course; top YouTubers like Logan Paul and PewDiePie, the sort that the platform was crafted around, have occasionally slipped up and caused a PR disaster or two for YouTube or themselves. YouTube TV's top content, however, is a bit more carefully vetted, and includes trusty premium content from TV networks, including movies, long-running and beloved TV shows, and more specialized niches like sports coverage.
This move, for all intents and purposes, seems poised to help Google Preferred grow as a platform, attracting a greater number of advertisers and more revenue while increasing engagement and recurrence for ads on the platform. As with anything regarding online services, of course, this speculation could very quickly and decisively be deflated by reality. YouTube TV is proving popular and safe enough thus far, but the service will have to show significant growth to accomplish its mission of disrupting the traditional cable TV market. Since YouTube TV cuts out the user-created content that YouTube is famous for in favor of YouTube Red originals and live TV and content from network partners, the service is theoretically a safe haven for advertisers who have been hesitant about YouTube in the past, but only time will tell if the service and this bold move in the handling of its advertising will succeed.