DCNF: Here Comes Google Preferred, Which Makes YouTube Sound Like TV

/ Apr 30, 2014


Two years ago, at its first Newfront Brandcast presentation, YouTube tried the traditional upfront thing. The company famously unveiled a lineup of 100 original programming channels — many from traditional media stars and brands. That didn’t work so well.

Last year, the company shifted focus to talk about its audience, and the creators and channels that are really good at reaching that audience — in some cases, better than TV networks.

YouTube’s Newfront Brandcast number three was an extension of that conversation, with the official unveiling of Google Preferred, a program that is comprised of the top channels across categories like music, food, entertainment, and news. A few of those channels were showcased during the Brandcast event, which I’ve listed at the bottom of the post.

Google Preferred, which only features the top 5% of channels on YouTube across those categories (suggesting to advertisers that they are of a premium nature), is YouTube’s attempt at talking like the television industry. Even though, the company emphasizes, and did during its presentation, about how it’s different from TV.

“Simply put, today’s 18- to 34-year-olds just live differently,” said Margo Georgiadis, president of americas, sales, at Google. “They’ve grown up in a connected, always-on world, and [for them] YouTube has become a primary source for news, lifestyle, and entertainment.”

According to Georgiadis, YouTube is the number-one place for millennials to go to learn about a product or passion.  “Because they’re choosing to learn about products on YouTube, they are much more open to [brand] messages,” said Georgiadis. “That’s why, for 18- to 34-year-olds, YouTube influences what cars, phones, and beauty products they buy 28% more strongly than TV.”

But the problem, as it has always been, is discovering which creators and channels that a brand should work with. “We need to make it easier for all of you to capture this opportunity, and to reach this highly engaged audience,” said Georgiadis.

And so the launch of Google Preferred.

Alongside the top YouTube channels across 14 different categories, Georgiadis also pointed to how YouTube has opened its doors to Nielsen and comScore, allowing advertisers to measure campaigns with the same services that they’re using for other online and traditional platforms.

That data, plus what YouTube already provides via its analytics capabilities, should help brands learn what they want to know when it comes to working on/with YouTube. (Of note: YouTube is launching a new tool that allows brands to measure “actual interest” of brands based on people’s real-time searches.)

And finally, YouTube is guaranteeing 100% reach on campaigns. Those ads will continue running until the targeted audience is reached on the video site.

Ultimately, this all makes YouTube look and sound like television — a digital MSO, if you will. Advertisers now have access to a curated list of channels, the ability to measure via Nielsen, and an audience guarantee.

“YouTube today is now easy to buy, easy to measure, and we give you the audience that you want,” said YouTube head of content Robert Kyncl, as if to drive the point home. The company has already inked deals with Johnson & Johnson and Heineken as part of the “incredibly scarce offering,” added Kyncl, who also announced a deal with DigitasLBi as the first agency partner to sign on to Google Preferred. (DigitasLBi is also a Newfront founding partner.)

Will this finally move the bucket when it comes to YouTube? “Tonight we had one special goal,” said Kyncl. “Tonight it was about us making you happy.” (Cueing up a performance from Pharrell.) YouTube sure hopes so.

A selection of Google Preferred channels:

Food & Recipe

  • Rosanna Pansino
  • Tasted
  • Sorted
  • Tastemade
  • Laura in the Kitchen

Beauty & Fashion

  • Wendy’s Lookbook
  • Zoella
  • Michelle Phan
  • Luxy Hair
  • Bethany Mota


  • Epic Rap Battles of History
  • Bad Lip-Reading
  • Funny or Die
  • Magic of Rahat

Entertainment & Pop Culture

  • iJustine
  • BuzzFeed
  • Rocket Jump


Hip Hop:

  • Jay Z’s Life & Times
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • I Am Other


  • One Direction
  • Boyce Avenue
  • Girls’ Generation
  • Bruno Mars


  • Blake Shelton
  • Zac Brown Band
  • Hunter Hayes


  • Tiesto
  • Spinnin’ Records
  • UKF Dubstep
Tags: , , , , , , ,


Lesbian Vampires & Kotex: How ‘Carmilla’ Became...


MTV Labs Taps Rapper A$AP Rocky as Creative Director


FCC Cancels Vote on ‘Unlock the Box’ OTT Proposal


Collab Signs Horror Channel BlackBoxTV to Network, Partners on...

Industry Tickets Selling Fast!
Click above to lock in your registration for VidCon 2015!
PewDiePie 3-2-15

PewDiePie Expands Revelmode Gaming Slate with DoubleMoose Deal


Storyful Launches Viral Video Marketplace


Pioneering Hip Hop Exec Lyor Cohen Joins YouTube as Global Head...


Legendary Digital Reveals Alpha Subscription Service Launch...


Time Inc. Teams with Digital Comedy Producers Jash for Branded Content

Amazon Logo

Amazon Greenlights Three Comedy Pilots as Series


How the Cartoon Network Combined the Best of VOD and Linear TV...


Jukin Media Goes Viral for Brands with Ethos Division Launch

Streamy Awards

Streamy Awards Trade In VH1 for YouTube, Again


Matching Ads to Videos Not So Simple, According to Zefr’s...


Plug Pulled on Canadian SVOD Service Shomi


What’s Trending on the Twitter Sale

Machinima Logo

Machinima Teams with SiriusXM for Daily Esports Radio Show


AwesomenessTV, Vice, Complex to Power New HearstLive...


VIDEO: ‘Dirty 30’ Confessions with Stars Hart,...


Facebook Says It’s Sorry It Vastly Overestimated Video...


Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian (‘The...


Heroes or Rats?: YouTube Unveils New Program for Creators Who...

Vessel says it's doing well in its first month

Why Verizon is Pursuing Vessel, the...


How Canvs Media is Harvesting Emotional Insights on YouTube,...


Marlon Wayans Getting ‘Naked’ for Netflix with Regina Hall


HuffPost RYOT Launching Virtual Reality Comedy Series and News...


YouTube Launches #voteIRL Campaign Targeting Digital-First Generation


How Top YouTubers (incl. Tyler Oakley & Meghan Rienks)...


Charlie Sheen to Star in Crackle Feature ‘Mad Families’


Gunpowder & Sky Buys Distributor FilmBuff As Vision for...


Toy Freaks Top Viewed YouTube Channel in August According to...


Emmy Wrap-Up 2016: Jeffrey Tambor (‘Transparent’)...


Twitter Scores 2.1 Million Viewers for Thursday Night Footall Kickoff


Vloggers Not Unique Snowflakes: 90 Million Flag YouTube Videos...

Mode Media

‘Billion Dollar Startup’ Mode Media Shuts Down


Who Is Winning The Marketing Revolution And Why?


Netflix Orders ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ Series...


What Is ‘Swedish Dicks’ and Who Is Selling It?


How GMC is Using the AOL Series ‘Seamlessly She’...


Liberty Global to Put Netflix on Set-Top Boxes in 30 Countries