YouTube’s ‘Google Preferred’ Has a 1% Ad Tier, Too

Brands can go super premium

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When YouTube rolled out its Google Preferred advertising platform last week at the Digital Content NewFronts, the video site's executives lauded the ability for brands to target pre-roll ads against the top 5 percent of the most popular content in areas like entertainment and food. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki unveiled the offering at the beginning of the digital video company's splashy Brandcast while revealing that Johnson & Johnson and Heineken are testing the system.

But the company didn't disclose every ad-related nugget at its April 30 event in New York. Sources tell Adweek that there's an even more premium tier to the platform, letting brands pay extra to run ads against only the top 1 percent of YouTube videos.

Interestingly, in order to buy the top 1 percent inventory, marketers must also purchase from the top 5 percent. One can probably presume such a stipulation is designed to keep a small number of big companies from buying up the entire 1 percent allotment, while encouraging more brands to invest more budget on YouTube.

At any rate, a YouTube rep confirmed the hard details.

"It allows advertisers to target the upper echelon of our videos—rather than a broader-reach campaign," the rep explained.

On the most basic level, Google Preferred is designed to assure brands that they are not purchasing pre-roll inventory for second-rate videos that are constantly uploaded to the site. It will become available to a wider breadth of advertisers in the coming months.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.