More than a year after a controversy surrounding the concept of “brand safety” erupted on YouTube, one of the online video industry’s most prominent networks is launching a tool that will help its ad partners ensure that their spots don’t run next to objectionable content. The tool in question is called Studio71 Context, and as its name implies, it is being launched by Studio71, which is known for working with some of the top creators on YouTube and beyond.
Studio71 Context, first developed last year, will use a combination of human and technological methods to identify videos that may be unfriendly for advertisers, whether due to their coarse language, violent situations, or sexually suggestive nature. Since automated systems that search for these red flags have proven to be inconsistent, especially on YouTube, each video deemed advertiser-unfriendly by Studio71 Context will be manually reviewed as well.
In early 2017, many brands became hesitant to spend on YouTube after their spots ran as pre-roll ads before violent, sexual, and terroristic content. Though most of those advertisers have returned to the video site, they remain wary regarding brand safety, even on YouTube’s top advertising tier. Some companies, such as JP Morgan, have even developed their own brand safety tools in response to the crisis.
“It’s been amazing to see what Studio71 Context has been able to do since the spring of 2017,” said Studio71 CEO Reza Izad in a press release. “With the technology behind Context in place and continuing to improve, Studio71 is uniquely positioned to help brands connect with audiences while feeling secure in their investment.”
Given the brand-facing nature of Studio71 Context, the tool will probably be a topic of conversation at Studio71’s Newfronts presentation, which will occur next month. The network will present to advertisers at noon on May 4 in New York.