MediaRadar Blog

YouTube Fixes Horrible Ad Placements, Grows 50%



TargetMarketing – YouTube had a problem in April that made it lose 5 percent of its advertisers — their videos were appearing on sites that didn’t match their brand values. The video sharing site instituted safeguards and saw 50 percent more advertisers arrive in May, finds MediaRadar.

The ad sales intelligence software provider emailed the results to Target Marketing on Wednesday, and said this measure was what brought marketers back:

“YouTube responded by shifting more advertisers to their ‘walled garden’ (Google Preferred) to ensure brand safety. The 508 brands seen in June [are] more than double January’s number of 217 — a 134 percent increase.”

MediaRadar CEO Todd Krizelman says much of this is due to YouTube hiring human screeners to ensure what happened in April didn’t happen again. (As of April, machine learning had been dictating much of the ad placement.)

At that time, Target Marketing reported in April, marketers were seeing their ads appear on sites like and Hillary 4 Prison. “JPMorgan Chase began restricting the ads it runs on YouTube to a ‘human-checked’ list of 1,000 channels, due to discovering its marketing was appearing next to videos promoting hate speech and terrorism,” according to Target Marketing.

Google Preferred Worked to Live Up to Its Name

MediaRadar says the 5 percent drop happened in Google Preferred, “YouTube’s program for advertising on its top-tier videos.”

Krizelman says YouTube, not yet split out from the $23 billion in Google advertising revenue parent company Alphabet reported for Q2, approached the problem from two vantage points:

“YouTube is actively expanding their premium content channels, called Google Preferred … This is a line-up of hundreds of curated channels where the quality of content is expected to be high. This allows YouTube to position themselves more directly against the clean content of scripted shows on broadcasters.

“Additionally, YouTube has hired human screeners to review content directly. This is in addition to their formidable technical advanced to review and screen content automatically. This way there is much less risk of objectionable content sneaking through.”

YouTube’s Other Improvements

MediaRadar tracked the top 24 Google Preferred channels, the company told Target Marketing on Wednesday. Here’s what it found about how well YouTube handled its advertisers’ brand safety concerns since April:

  • Google Preferred had more advertisers in May and June than any other month in 2017.
  • Brand trust in YouTube is growing with the average number of channels run on [it] increasing at a rate of 9 percent per month, as well as the average number of days an advertiser ran increasing at a 10 percent per month since April.

“While this may be a result of YouTube shifting more advertisers to their safer, preferred channels to allay concerns regarding brand safety,” according to MediaRadar, “the rate of increase is a positive sign for YouTube across the board.”


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