YouTube introduces audio ads for brands to expand reach

In a bid to help marketers and creators further grow brand awareness on its platform, YouTube has introduced audio ads — its first ad format designed to connect brands with audiences in engaged and ambient listening.

Audio ads, currently in beta, will help companies efficiently expand reach and grow brand awareness with audio-based creative and the same measurement, audience and brand safety features as video campaigns, the Google-owned platform said on Tuesday.

“With music video streaming at an all time high on YouTube — more than 50 per cent of logged-in viewers who consume music content in a day consume more than 10 minutes of music content — we’re introducing new solutions for your brand to be seen, heard and recognised alongside music content,” said Melissa Hsieh Nikolic, Group Product Manager, YouTube Ads.

In addition to audio ads, YouTube also launched dynamic music lineups, dedicated groups of music-focused channels across popular genres such as Latin music, K-pop, hip-hop and Top 100, as well as moods or interests like fitness.

Audio ads are characterized by creatives where the audio soundtrack plays the starring role in delivering the message.

The visual component is typically a still image or simple animation.

“In our months of alpha testing, we found that more than 75 per cent of measured audio ad campaigns on YouTube drove a significant lift in brand awareness,” YouTube said.

YouTube brought in $5 billion in advertising revenue in the third quarter of 2020, signaling that there has been a rebound in advertising revenue for both Google and YouTube.

YouTube now has over 30 million music and premium paid subscribers, and over 35 million including those on free trials. YouTube TV now has more than 3 million paid subscribers.

The company said that audio ads are available in beta via auction on Google Ads and Display & Video 360 on a cost per thousand (CPM) basis.

“Using both video and audio ads together, you can reach more people, consuming content they love, with the ad format that’s best suited for their unique YouTube experience,” the company said.