More ads are coming to YouTube Shorts

By 05/02/2023
More ads are coming to YouTube Shorts

YouTube‘s annual Brandcast is slated for the TV Upfronts this year instead of the digital-focused NewFronts, but the platform is still making an appearance at the NewFronts–with some updates about ads on YouTube Shorts.

“As our viewers bounce between long-form videos and Shorts, discovering tons of new artists on the platform, they’re also discovering brands,” Kristen O’Hara, YouTube’s VP of agency and brand solutions, said during its NewFronts presentation. “Since we launched Shorts and video action campaigns last year, we have seen many, many brands really lean into how they can use Shorts.”

So, YouTube is bringing two new ad types to Shorts: video reach campaigns and YouTube Select.


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Video reach campaigns (not to be confused with video action campaigns) “use Google AI to serve the best combination of ads, and improve your reach and efficiency on YouTube,” YouTube says. Basically, it’s a way for brands to buy skippable in-stream ads up to 60 seconds long, non-skippable in-stream ads, and bumper ads that were previously only available on long-form videos.

With this expansion, YouTube has added a campaign tool with artificial intelligence that can automatically repurpose and reoptimize horizontal ad videos to run vertically on Shorts.

The second ad type, YouTube Select, is also a carry-over from long-form videos. YouTube Select used to be known as Google Preferred, a program where YouTube bundled together what it considers the top 5% most brand-friendly channels and sold advertising on them for a premium price (which generally led, in turn, to participating creators earning higher CPMs).

Google Preferred became YouTube Select in 2020, and now is billed as a way for advertisers to “surround the most popular content on YouTube–all in a brand-suitable environment.”

YouTube Select on Shorts will have something YouTube Select on long-form videos doesn’t: a brand-new perk called First Position.

“When a viewer opens YouTube Shorts and starts watching, your ad is the first one they will see,” O’Hara wrote in a company blog post. “This lets you land a strong first impression in a highly immersive environment.”

If brands take to these new ad types, it could help drive more revenue to creators using Shorts. YouTube just began sharing revenue with Shorts creators this past February, but reported CPMs so far have been less than stellar. Adding to that, YouTube just posted its third straight quarter of year-over-year revenue decrease–and it previously attributed that drop in revenue to Shorts’ growing viewership.

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