Google wants YouTube viewers to buy while they watch

Google’s TrueView for shopping ads rolled out to YouTube on May 21.


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YouTube is the online video behemoth, but has yet to generate big profits for Google.

On Thursday, the internet giant launched a new effort to change that.

Google has added shopping elements to YouTube’s skippable pre-roll video ads, called TrueView ads. During some TrueView ads, viewers will also see product offerings from the same advertiser, with prices, images, and a button to click that will take them to the advertiser’s website.

Some advertisers tested the ads, including online furniture retailer Wayfair and makeup retailer Sephora. Wayfair said the new ads generate three times more revenue from sales than traditional TrueView ads.

“The overlay puts customers in a buying mindset and they’re more likely to come to our website and buy,” said Ben Young, Wayfair’s media manager for online TV and video. .

Google will be paid the same way as for traditional TrueView ads: advertisers pay every time a user watches an ad for 30 seconds without skipping.

There’s no additional cost if the viewer clicks the new buy buttons and goes to the advertiser’s website, Young explained. But if more YouTube viewers click on ads and buy products, advertisers could pay more for ads, which would increase YouTube’s revenue.

Still, there is a lot of work to be done. In April, Google said YouTube had contributed to an overall decline in Google ad prices. More people click on TrueView ads, but advertisers pay less than for Google search ads because viewers aren’t considered as close to a purchase as users searching for products on Google.

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Shirley K. Rosa