Google announced Friday that it is developing a cloud-based measurement solution for YouTube with an emphasis on more detailed cross-device analytics.
Director of YouTube product management Diya Jolly said in a blog post that more than 50 percent of views on YouTube are now via mobile, prompting its move to focus more of its efforts on mobile and phase out desktop “legacy technologies” such as cookies.
She added that Google and YouTube will continue to work with Media Rating Council-accredited vendors including comScore, DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science, Moat and Nielsen, which currently handle the vast majority of third-party measurement on YouTube.
Jolly said of the solution being developed:
With this new solution, advertisers will have access to more detailed insights from their YouTube campaigns across devices, so they can better understand the impact of their campaigns on their highest-value customers. For instance, a car manufacturer could get a rich understanding of how YouTube ads across devices influenced a specific audience (like previous SUV buyers).
As more viewership on YouTube shifts to mobile, we’re making it easier for advertisers to deliver more relevant, useful ads across screens. Now, information from activity associated with users’ Google accounts (such as demographic information and past searches) may be used to influence the ads those users see on YouTube. So, for example, if you’re a retailer, you could reach potential customers that have been searching for winter coat deals on Google and engage with them with your own winter clothing brand campaign at just the right moment.
In addition, we’re creating new ways for advertisers to use their customer data to reach their highest-value customers on YouTube using Customer Match. For example, that same retail advertiser could reach customers that signed up to receive special offers in their stores.
From the user standpoint, she stressed that users can still control the ads they see across YouTube and Google via My Account, and she detailed new controls that are on the way:
In the coming weeks, we’ll enable a user control that was built with cross-screen viewing in mind: if a user mutes an advertiser on Google Search, ads from that advertiser will also be muted when they watch on YouTube. For example, if you see a gym membership ad but have already signed up for a gym as part of your New Year’s resolution, you can mute that ad in search, and you won’t see ads from that advertiser on YouTube.
Finally, on de-emphasizing desktop technologies, Jolly wrote:
While technologies like pixels and cookies still have a role in the broader ecosystem, most were built for a single screen—neither pixels nor anonymous cookies were designed for the ways in which users increasingly watch content on YouTube, like on the mobile app or in the living room. This can lead to inconsistent measurement and less relevant ads across screens, making it harder for people to control the ads they see or the data used to show them.
By investing more in the mobile-first solutions we’re announcing today, users will have more choice and transparency over how they experience ads on Google and YouTube, and advertisers will have more opportunities to be present and relevant in the moments their audience chooses to watch.
Readers: What are your thoughts on today’s announcement?