Given that connected TV viewers are YouTube's fastest-growing audience segment, it makes sense for the platform to capitalize on this, with traditional TV-like ad options that can maximize audience attention.
This week, YouTube has announced that it's adding TV screen-specific targeting to its prominent Masthead ads, which will show up first thing when a user opens their YouTube TV app.
As you can see here, the Masthead ads will take up prime TV real estate - likely the closest thing to traditional TV ads on offer from a digital platform as yet.
As per YouTube:
"Masthead [ads] will autoplay for viewers after a few seconds on all compatible devices. This, coupled with the home feed placement, means brand creatives will be front and center of the YouTube app experience on TV screens."
And while users can, of course, scroll past these ads, you'll notice that there's no skip option. That could hold more appeal for certain advertisers looking to maximize their coverage.
The option, currently in beta testing, will enable marketers to purchase Masthead ads on TV screens on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) basis, with the usual custom audience targeting options available for YouTube ads.
"We know the rich audio and visual experience of YouTube on TV screens means the potential to drive upper-funnel impact is bigger than ever. According to a recent experiment we conducted with Media Science, YouTube ads on TV screens drive a 10 percent greater lift in recall than ads on linear TV."
That, again, combined with increased viewing of YouTube content on home TV sets could make this a good option for those brands with the necessary budget.
In some ways, it feels a bit 'back to the future', that more and more people are now connecting their YouTube and digital platform video content into their home TV sets, which is shifting us back to the traditional advertising experience. But it also makes perfect sense. While video consumption on mobile devices is, most definitely, on the rise, the home TV set remains a central, communal entertainment option, and the key source of video content viewing for many people.
Watching the TV set is essentially hard-wired into how we consume media, and while mobile experiences compliment this, it's logical that people will still want to watch the best content on their largest screens.
This new offering looks to tap into that trend, and provide additional considerations for marketers.
You can contact your Google sales team to enroll in beta testing of Masthead ads for TV.