YouTube is offering brands vertical video ads that aim to provide a more seamless mobile experience for viewers. The Google-owned video sharing platform also announced plans to sell videos ads that can be adjusted to a viewer’s personalized home feed, according to The Drum.
Hyundai is among the brands that have tested the new ad format. A pilot campaign for the carmaker’s latest SUV spurred a 33% gain in brand awareness and a 12% increase in purchase consideration, Google said in a blog post.
The ads fill up a mobile screen in YouTube’s app, similar to vertical ads on Snapchat and Facebook’s Instagram app. The vertical video ads are available for TrueView and Universal App campaigns, per the Google blog.
More than 70% of YouTube’s viewing time worldwide happens on a mobile screen, the company said, making vertical video ads a key part of adapting to the shifting viewing habits of its audience. The platform has let creators upload vertical videos that automatically adapt to viewers’ screen ratios since last year. This week’s announcement of vertical video ads marks the first time that brands can use the format in their YouTube campaigns.
YouTube is expanding its mobile ad inventory as platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat aggressively move into video programming. Facebook Watch continues to expand its video content with original series, sporting events and software tools to help creators post vertical videos, while Instagram’s new IGTV platform is partnering with content producers on exclusive programming. BBC News yesterday announced plans to stream a weekly news show called “Cut Through the Noise” on Facebook Watch this year, Variety reported.
All of these efforts could cut into YouTube’s dominance of the online video space, which could in turn impact ad spending on YouTube. Mobile is forecast to make up a third of total U.S. ad spend this year, surpassing TV as the leading ad medium. Online video ad spending, specifically, is set to grow 13% by 2023, according to Forrester Research. While display video will dominate spending this year, social video growth remains strong as consumers shift their viewing habits to digital streaming alternatives.