YouTube Masthead Ads Are Now Available to All Brands on a CPM Basis

The video site began beta-testing this option in February

A preview, featuring Adweek, of what creative might look like for potential advertisers with YouTube’s new option to buy ads on its masthead on a CPM basis
Potential advertisers can preview how their creative will look.
Getty Images/YouTube

More advertisers just got access to some prime real estate on YouTube.

The Google-owned video site began beta-testing the option of buying ads on its masthead on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) basis, as well as using its targeting solutions to determine which users see those ads, in February.

YouTube ended the beta-test this week, and all advertisers can now buy ads on its masthead on a CPM basis, although it will still be a reserved media placement, meaning that advertisers pay based on CPM or cost per day, or at a fixed rate, with minimum spend requirements.

“This is a great opportunity for brands to advertise to consumers in a highly targeted way,” said Dan Goldstein, president and owner of digital marketing agency Page 1 Solutions. “Given the popularity of YouTube and the ability to target users based on their interests and browsing history, I believe businesses will find this to be an effective vehicle to reinforce their brand image and increase sales.”

Periscope senior media supervisor Kaitlin Czech was bullish as well, saying, “This CPM rollout seems like a natural next step for YouTube and a win-win for both advertisers and the platform. It provides the opportunity for more advertisers to not only increase their brand awareness through a highly visible and impactful unit, but also enables them to afford the placement with a new and more flexible CPM option.”

YouTube said in a blog post that impressions will be guaranteed across campaign flights, which can run from one through seven days.

L’Oréal was part of the beta-test over the past three months, deploying its campaign in Germany, and Uwe Roschmann, its iBeauty agency lead, said in the blog post, “Adding additional targeting options on top of the reach and awareness that a YouTube masthead drives has been an ideal match to the media strategy of two of L’Oréal’s fragrance brands, Diesel and Cacharel, where demographics and audience segmentation play a major role in driving results.”

Czech said, “With the improved audience targeting and guaranteed impressions, it can help advertisers better deliver on media plans and goals, while being more cost effective. As this was a successful beta, we expect Google will able to increase this unit’s monetization off CPM buying as it transitions away from the cost-per-day model.”

Potential advertisers can preview how their creative will look here. “As with any advertising, brands must ensure that the creative stands out and connects with consumers on an emotional level,” Goldstein said.

Czech added, “It will be interesting to see how advertisers take to this release and what Google does next to transform the advertising space.”

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