Google Makes YouTube Masthead Ads Available to All Advertisers

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

YouTube is the most popular video-sharing platform on the planet, and millions of people visit the site every day. Having a company’s advertisement shown on the top of the YouTube home page, which is also referred to as the masthead ad, is an excellent way to increase exposure for a brand. In the past, the masthead ad space was only available to large brands with deep pockets. However, Google recently formalized a new program that will make masthead ads on YouTube available to all advertisers.

Google and YouTube have been experimenting with making masthead ads more accessible for several months. The issue hasn’t been finding people who can afford masthead ads. Instead, the problem is creating a format that makes masthead ads more useful for targeted campaigns. Without a means to fine-tune the targeting for local and niche markets, masthead ads needed to be for brands that had broad appeal.

One of the most significant changes is that masthead ads no longer have to be purchased on a per-day system. That method of selling masthead ad space severely limited the number of advertisers who could afford a masthead ad. And without fine-tuning options for the full-day ad, advertisers were paying for people to see the ad who weren’t interested in the product or service on offer.

Under the new system, it will still be possible to buy full-day masthead ads. However, masthead ads will be available to advertisers at a cost-per-thousand-impression (CPM) basis. Additionally, the new system uses advanced audience solutions to customize who sees the advertising. These changes fix the issues that made it harder for smaller advertisers to find use in masthead ads.

It took several months of testing, but Google and YouTube have decided on an advertising plan that helps companies get more ad views and engagement. As Google explained in a post announcing the change, “With premium placement atop the YouTube Home feed, guaranteed reach and the flexibility of CPM buying, the opportunity to drive impact with the Masthead has never been greater.”

However, there is one trade-off for using CPM instead of per-day pricing for masthead ads on YouTube. When you paid for per-day masthead ads, you were highly likely to see the ads when you visited YouTube. Under the CPM system, the masthead will remain as a reserved placement. This means that Impressions will be guaranteed across campaign flights that can range from one to seven days.

Making masthead ads available to more advertisers could make the YouTube experience more enjoyable for visitors. There will be more variety in the ads they see on the platform, and due to the targeting, the ads should be more relevant.

Businesses who have an audience that spends a lot of time on YouTube (which is most industries) should consider using the YouTube masthead ad space to immediately capture the attention of their target audience.

For more news about updates and changes to Google and YouTube, read this article on the more than 3,200 changes that Google made to search in 2018.


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