advertising,Creative Advertising,Technology

Seeing Red: Ad-Free YouTube

30 Oct , 2015  

At first, we were concerned about the Adblockers. iOS9 made it possible for us to download, open and put the newly-accessible apps to work. Gone were the banner ads, pop-ups and pre-roll. And most of the general public thought it was magical. In September, media outlet The Awl reported that 25 percent of its page views were shown to users with ad blockers installed. That didn’t bode well for us digital advertisers. But we carried on. Now we’re questioning YouTube Red, which allows users to watch videos without ads—to the tune of $9.99/month (not a penny of which will be recouped by you or I).  Google hopes people will pay for YouTube Red by offering incentives only offered to subscribers. This includes ad-free viewing, allowing viewers to save videos to view offline, access to an ad-free, artist-centric YouTube Music, and the big one: original scripted content from the biggest celebrity vlogger channels (oh hey, Pew Die Pie). With 72% of U.S. Millennials using the platform on a regular basis and “YouTube celebs” becoming more like “real celebs,” we’re leaning towards YouTube Red being largely successful. $10 for Netflix, $10 for Spotify and $10 for YouTube Red adds up to a mere $30/month for all the ad-free entertainment you can consume. The average cable company ain’t got nothin’ on that. The good news it that the existence of YouTube Red won’t affect the free-to-use, ad-supported version of YouTube in any way. In fact, YouTube’s advertising revenue has been quite successful as of late—their list of advertisers has grown 40% over the past year. “Down with big advertising!” the people say. But the annual online media spend in the US reached $51 billion last year. As an agency we need to develop smarter approaches in getting our messages across. Retargeted ads showing up in your Facebook feeds are getting stale. Banner ads on regular old YouTube may reflect an E-commerce search that resulted in a purchase from days ago. How will we see beyond the CPM? Know that the “free content” we see by having free Instagram and Facebook accounts will never truly be free to users. And technologies will never cease to become more complex. Someone, or something will throw a road block onto a perfectly planned PPC path. We can’t stop tech; we can only embrace it. Think about the once-free totally-illegal days of Napster and Kazaa. Technology evolved that concept and transformed it into the streaming services we pay for and use on the daily almost two decades later. YouTube Red is live now across mobile phones, tablets, desktop, and smart TVs. For more information on YouTube Red click here. For an interesting conversation surrounding adblocking, click here.

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