At several points in 2017, major brands suspended ad campaigns on YouTube because they could not be assured that their spots would run next to brand-appropriate videos. As it looks to improve its relationship with those brands, YouTube is reportedly taking steps to ensure its premium ad tier remains a worthwhile buy. As shared by Bloomberg, YouTube will use both human and technological moderation to vet the channels it includes in its Google Preferred package.
Google Preferred, first launched in 2014, ropes off ad space on YouTube’s top channels, which is reserved for advertisers that enter into the Preferred program. In theory, this is a win for both creators, who get to reap the benefits of strong ad rates, and brands, who can ensure that their YouTube media buys connect to strong, engaged audiences.
Now, YouTube is responding to those complaints. A day after it removed Logan Paul from its Preferred lineup in response to the embattled star’s “suicide forest” video, it vowed to do right by its most valuable brand partners.
“We built Google Preferred to help our customers easily reach YouTube’s most passionate audiences and we’ve seen strong traction in the last year with a record number of brands,” reads a statement from a Google spokeswoman. “As we said recently, we are discussing and seeking feedback from our brand partners on ways to offer them even more assurances for what they buy in the Upfronts.”
YouTube’s promise to clean up Preferred is in line with the initiatives it has taken across its platform. It is planning to hire 10,000 humans to review questionable content, and it is improving its technological processes to ensure they catch the right types of inappropriate videos. Those steps can likely help YouTube restore advertisers faith in Preferred as well.