In a bid to unify its advertising interfaces and improve reporting for YouTube video ads, Google is launching a limited public beta of “AdWords for Video” — which includes four “TrueView” video ad formats, for which advertisers pay when the video is viewed or started by a user. The release integrates video advertising, previously housed at YouTube.com, into the AdWords interface.
“Buying video has traditionally been a difficult process, especially within AdWords,” says Lane Shackleton, product manager at YouTube, noting that the new product is meant to ease that pain for advertisers.
The ad formats offered — some of which build on what YouTube already offered — include TrueView in-stream, TrueView in-search, TrueView in-display and TrueView in-slate.
TrueView in-stream are ads that appear as a pre- or mid-roll on short or long-form YouTube videos. TrueView in-search ads (formerly branded as Promoted Videos) show up when people search on YouTube or Google video search. TrueView in-display (similar to the old Click-to-Play format) go onto the Google Display network, and TrueView in-slate appears in a “slate” of multiple videos before long-form video on YouTube. In-search and in-display videos that play on YouTube can also have call-to-action overlay elements.
Additionally, Google has integrated the ability to manage and receive reporting on these video ad types from within the AdWords interface. Advertisers still have to upload the video assets at YouTube, but can connect multiple YouTube accounts to their AdWords account.
Advertisers will then be able to target, place and bid on inventory via AdWords, and get reports on things like thumbnail views, video views, view rate (how many times people click to play after seeing an impression on display), an average cost-per-view, the total cost, and the number of click-throughs to the advertiser’s Web site. Video views are counted after a user clicks to play an ad, or, on ads where a user isn’t specifically clicking on an ad (on in-slate or in-stream, for example), a view is counted either 30 seconds in or by the end of the ad, whichever comes first. Targeting can be done by demographics, keywords, interest categories, topics, and specific publisher placements.
For the limited public beta, Google is trying to recruit advertisers across the spectrum, but hasn’t said where it will draw the line. Advertisers can sign up to be considered on the AdWords for Video landing page. As an incentive for new advertisers to join, Google is offering a $100 coupon for new accounts created.