As we approach 15 years since YouTube launched on our screens, a big change is coming that will impact how we as marketers measure the value of advertising on YouTube. In an effort to offer greater accuracy in the analytics coming from YouTube ads, Google is putting its trust into its new Ads Data Hub.
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After several years of placing limits on pixels and investing in the development of the Ads Data Hub, Google is giving us a platform that “allows our advertisers to understand the effectiveness of their ads in a secure, privacy-safe environment.”
Why should we be so interested in measuring our YouTube ads?
As of March 2019, YouTube has had a 39% increase over the previous year in watch time on TV screens at 250 million hours per day.
According to a Pew Research study, over 50% of YouTube users say they use the app very often to figure out how to do new things.
80% of shoppers who watched a video related to a purchase they wanted to make did so in the early stages of the decision-making process.
YouTube ad statistics to pay attention to:
YouTube mobile ads command an attention rate of 62%, compared to 45% of TV viewers
Only 12% of YouTube viewers multitask during ads, compared to 26% of TV viewers
How has Google been measuring YouTube ad effectiveness?
Traditionally, Google has relied on pixels to track ad effectiveness. However, pixels were designed for a single screen environment which just isn’t how viewers consume video content today. In short, pixels can’t determine the effectiveness of ads in mobile apps, which, given the usage statistics for YouTube, means a lot of data is missing from the analytics. Another issue is that privacy controls are lacking in many third-party pixels.
For these reasons, Google has been limiting the pixels allowed on YouTube. Good for privacy, not so good for those of us investing in advertising and wanting accurate insight into the performance of those ads.
What’s changing with how Google measures ad effectiveness on YouTube?
According to Google, “Over the last year, we've been working with key measurement companies including Nielsen, Comscore, DoubleVerify, Dynata, Kantar and Integral Ad Science to migrate their services to Ads Data Hub. Once the migrations are complete early next year, we will stop allowing third-party pixels on YouTube.”
With the elimination of pixel-based measurement, Google will give advertisers the ability to determine how their ads are performing on various mediums, including mobile apps, through the aggregated date from Google ads platforms.
Another notable value proposition is that by limiting the use of user data, Ads Data Hub provides an additional layer of privacy protection for users without limiting the ability to measure YouTube ad campaigns.
As a marketer, this is a big deal.
How will Ads Data Hub impact YouTube advertising for marketers?
The most important impact across the marketing and advertising industry will be the increase in the accuracy of performance data. By measuring across screens, we will finally get a realistic view of our audience and how they respond to our YouTube ad content.
Of course, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that while we, the marketers, will be gaining greater insights, the audience and potential customers will be benefiting from increased privacy. In today’s privacy-aware climate, that is a major benefit as well.