YouTube is bringing shoppable ads to TV screens.
As the platform regularly emphasizes, more and more people are watching YouTube content on their TVs–to the tune of 120 million unique viewers per month, according to internal stats from December 2020. These days, YouTube says, one-quarter of logged-in users who watch YouTube videos on TV screens spend the majority of their time watching on TV rather than on phones, tablets, and computers.
For YouTube, that means “the living room is becoming an essential place for brands to drive incremental conversions with new audiences,” Romana Pawar, YouTube’s director of product management for ads, said in a blog post today.
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YouTube debuted shoppable ads on mobile and desktop in June 2020. At the same time, it introduced Video Action Campaigns, which let advertisers run one campaign that places interactive ads in multiple high-traffic areas, like YouTube’s home feed.
With this new update, YouTube is expanding shoppable Video Action Campaign ads to TV screens.
How will shoppables work on TV screens? According to Pawar, when viewers see shoppable ads on their TVs, “they are invited through a URL at the bottom of their screen to continue shopping on the brand’s website from their desktop or mobile device–without interrupting their viewing session.”
Pawar claimed that in “early experiments” for Video Action Campaigns on TV screens, “over 90% of conversions coming from [connected TV] would not have been reachable on mobile and desktop devices.”
Advertisers will see performance metrics for shoppable TV ads in the beta version of Conversion Lift, a YouTube system that measures “the impact of YouTube ads on driving user actions, such as website visits, sign ups, purchases and other types of conversions,” Pawar said.
Shoppable is not the first ad format YouTube has expanded to TV screens. In 2019, it began offering a TV version of the masthead, its most prominent and most expensive desktop/mobile ad spot, and in 2020, it brought over both skippable pre-rolls and Brand Lift, which surveys users about consumer products. It also recently added Nielsen measurement for TV ads, again citing its growing TV audience.