YouTube’s nearly 1 billion active monthly users apparently aren’t enough to turn a profit for the company that reported $4 billion in revenue last year and $3 billion the year before. Google is launching shoppable ads on YouTube that will allow users to purchase products they see advertised straight from the pre-roll advertising on their favorite videos.
The new feature is called ‘True View’ and will enable clickable banners embedded in ads so that consumers may click to be taken to the products site. There will also be a list running underneath the ad listing the products a consumer is seeing, and links to buy them. The goal seems to be a more engaging advertising experience. If you’re watching a video for how to build a treehouse, you may see an add for a power tool, and along with a clickable button a few seconds in to buy that power tool. As it currently stands, users can skip ads that play before videos, which means YouTube won’t receive payment for that ad. This offers a chance to reel more people in.
Google’s announcement blog post reads:
“TrueView for shopping enables advertisers to scale the manual process of connecting individual products with individual videos. Thanks to the first-ever integration of the Google Merchant Center into video ads, advertisers need only connect their campaign with a Merchant Center feed to dynamically add products to their in-stream videos, customized for each user through contextual and audience signals like geography and demographic info.”
According to the blog post, companies like beauty supplier Sephora have already had success with the new feature, which worked “to drive +80 percent lift in consideration and +54 percent lift in ad recall, and an average view time of nearly two minutes.” Google has also said that since it knows “that 50 percent of views on YouTube come from mobile devices,” TrueView will be seamlessly integrated across mobile YouTube platforms as well.
Google has stressed that these purchases will not be taking place natively within YouTube, but will instead directed users outbound to the products own websites.