Say goodbye to Google Preferred, and hello to YouTube Select.
For years, YouTube has bundled together what it considers the top 5% most brand-friendly channels and sold advertising on them for a premium price (which generally leads, in turn, to participating creators earning higher CPMs). But it’s planning to phase out Google Preferred by the end of this year, and now has introduced the program’s replacement.
YouTube Select is “a reimagination and unification of solutions like Google Preferred and prime packs,” Vishal Sharma, YouTube’s vice president of ad product management, wrote in an official blog post.
Prime packs are collections of channels curated around a particular popular theme, like cooking or beauty. In the past, YouTube has sold ads against prime packs for brands that want to target a specific audience. For example, a cookware company could buy ads on a cooking prime pack to reach people who are presumably interested in furnishing their kitchens.
The new Select program, however, will blend prime packs with Google Preferred by offering advertisers curated ‘content lineups’ full of YouTube-approved, brand-safe creators and videos. Content lineups will be “tailored to globally and locally relevant needs like beauty & fashion, entertainment, technology, sports, and everything in between,” Sharma wrote.
On the new YouTube Select landing site, the platform lists ten example content lineups featuring familiar faces: MrBeast headlines the Entertainment & Pop Culture lineup, Marques Brownlee leads Technology, James Charles and his new YouTube Original Instant Influencer are up top in Fashion & Lifestyle, and Markiplier (plus his interactive YouTube Original A Heist with Markiplier) tops Gaming.
YouTube Select will additionally offer ‘emerging lineups,’ which put forth “up and coming or niche channels,” Sharma noted.
YouTube leans hard into growing TV viewership
The program will also have one big lineup for marketers that want to get their ads on TV screens.
YouTube is now seeing more than 100 million people per month view content on their televisions, it says, so it’s “introducing a dedicated streaming TV lineup…to help brands reach their audiences where they are watching,” Sharma wrote. The lineup will comprise “the best content, including popular creators, YouTube Originals, live sports, feature length movies, timely news, and more.” (Worth noting: YouTube revealed last week that its NewFronts presentation next month will focus on TV viewership.)
Outside of curated content lineups, YouTube Select will let marketers more broadly target audiences on YouTube Kids and within YouTube’s dedicated verticals, including Sports, Music, and Originals, Sharma said.
He added that YouTube Select will give advertisers access to more advanced brand suitability controls, including an option that lets them only serve ads on videos that have been verified as ad-friendly by both a machine classifier and human staffer.
It’s not clear if all YouTube creators who are currently part of Google Preferred will be rolled into YouTube Select. Tubefilter has reached out for details, and will update this story with any new information.