The Polar Report

The Polar Report: Industry Insights #10

August 24, 2022

Welcome to The Polar Report, a curated view of what’s happening in the world of Digital Monetisation, Audience Development and Measurement. This week we dive into YouTube’s improvements for CTV targeting, YouTube developing a Streaming Video Marketplace, Long-form videos gaining in popularity and Google launching a panel.


YouTube announces improvements for CTV targeting

CTV is a hot topic within the world of video consumption. The ability to watch content that is generally associated with being viewed on a phone or desktop on a TV in your living room is the unique offering that CTV provides. As a result of this, CTV is now YouTubes fastest-growing content surface. As spoken about many times before, this opens the doors for advertisers to run TV-like ad campaigns at nowhere near the cost of linear TV campaigns.

YouTube is now providing more options for advertisers that are running campaigns on CTV. Firstly, YouTube is implementing an audience guarantee function using Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings. This will allow advertisers to maximise their reach among a specific targeted market. A feature like this has benefits hidden under the surface. By giving advertisers more control and guarantees surrounding the targeting of a campaign, YouTube stands to potentially increase the effectiveness of the campaigns for the advertisers. After all, if a campaign targeted to a specific audience is reaching that specific audience, then there is a higher chance the advertising will lead to a conversion.

YouTube is also making improvements to their CTV buying tools by offering buyers the ability to purchase YouTube ads within Display and Video 360’s insertion order dedicated to CTV ad buying. This will allow for CTV buyers to deliver more streamlined and co-ordinated campaigns. By making the process of purchasing CTV ads easier and providing audience guarantees, YouTube is stepping up the game and continuing to push boundaries separating them from linear TV.

Full article on Social Media Today

YouTube set to launch a Streaming Video Marketplace

YouTube is currently planning the launch of an online store for streaming video services. The market is extremely competitive with the likes of Amazon, Roku and Apple all offering their own streaming hubs. Therefore it comes as no surprise that YouTube does not want to get left behind. Each of these tech giants are trying to position themselves to consumers as the best place to get access to the movies and shows that they want to watch.

If, or when YouTube does go live with what they are calling the “Channel Store”, they will be making it easier for subscribers to purchase multiple services through a single app. Simplicity is one thing that consumers will always want. Currently, YouTube TV does allow for consumers to add on subscriptions to services like HBO Max. However, the new channel store would allow for consumers to pick and choose their streaming services as they want them. YouTube would then act as the middleman between the subscriber and the streamer, allowing users to subscribe to multiple separate streaming services all within the YouTube app.

It has been confirmed that YouTube has renewed talks with entertainment companies about participating in the platform. There are trade-offs that these entertainment companies would need to consider such as a potential loss in revenue and less control over customers data. However, with YouTubes monthly audience figures sitting at 2.6 billion these entertainment companies would be exposing themselves and their IP to new audiences they may not have been able to get before.

YouTube is striving to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, and this Channel Store is a perfect example of that. However, YouTube’s current streaming offerings appear to be unconsolidated, with the “Channel Store” seeming to be practically quite similar to the YouTube TV offering. It remains to be seen what YouTube’s streaming service ambition will materialise as.

Full article on Wall Street Journal

Audience Development

Long-form videos are proving their worth with Gen Z viewers.

An interesting new trend seems to be emerging surrounding Gen Z viewers. It feels as though the hot topic right now is short-form content, fuelled by the rise of TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. We all live busy lives and our attention spans feel like they are becoming shorter and shorter as every year flies by. So would it be silly to suggest that we are actually more willing than ever to indulge in long-form content?

In fact, it’s not silly at all. A 2022 study by Ipsos shows that Gen Z viewers are more keen than ever to engage with hours of long video content. And there are a few reasons why, but there is one theme that sticks out through all of them: people want more of what they love.

Being a normal fan is boring these days; we live in an era where 61% of Gen Z describe themselves as, “Super fans”. This love for someone or something develops into a healthy appetite for more, be it post match analysis videos of their favourite football team or watching their favourite content creator walkthrough hours of a new video game. Along with that, these channels then offer something to these viewers, something that YouTube has always prided itself on offering. A community. These viewers can connect with like-minded people and use the comment section to start conversations.

Another key driving factor in the rise of long-form content is the recent popularity of video essays. These videos can range from 25 minutes to several hours and they see creators going in-depth into a huge array of topics. The reason for this popularity can be traced back to the idea that viewers want to know more and watch more about things that they are passionate about.

Long form videos are a hugely important part of audience growth, with the opportunities for long watch times that reflect high engagement with a channel. The algorithm loves it. Research suggests that small snippets of information in short-form video can direct viewers to the longer, more in-depth videos. Much like a trailer for a movie. For marketing teams, the trick will be utilising both short and long-form content in an effective way.

Full article on Think With Google


Google Launches a Panel to Validate its Conversion Model

In what is becoming an automated era, Google has decided to make use of an age-old method of data collection: surveys. The panel they are putting together will be a representative sample of active online consumers from all different backgrounds and demographics living in the US, with the aim of validating the data in Google’s measurement products. The initial plans laid out by Google keep the panel relatively small at 1,000 panellists.

Google’s president of the Americas and global partners, Allan Thygesen, expressed that the main goal of this panel is to improve conversion modelling as it is a vitally important aspect of their measurement system. Due to recent measurement gaps being created by the announcement of cookie restrictions and other forms of signal loss, Google will rely on conversion modelling.

Another reason for the implementation of the panel is Google's position on the importance of first-party data and first-party relationships. The panel is going to be used to compliment the first-party data that Google has. Critics have noted that since Google has such a ‘mountain’ of this data, it’s no surprise that they’re pushing for greater reliance on first-party data. Despite this, that they’re seeking to validate their own data resources can only be a positive thing.

With surveys becoming popular again and media mix modelling capturing the minds of marketers right now, this step by Google displays a willingness many have to return to what they know works. Where this trend ends is something that is going to be intriguing to watch unfold.

Full article on Ad Exchanger