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A new YouTube feature will make its connected TV ads more shoppable – TechCrunch

YouTube today gave advertisers a sneak peek at its plans to make its video platform more shoppable. The company will soon introduce a new interactive feature aimed at advertisers, called brand extensions, allowing YouTube viewers to learn more about a product they see on the screen with a button click. The new ad format will allow the advertiser to highlight their website link or call-to-action in their connected TV video ad. The viewer can click “send to phone,” which sends that promotion or URL directly to their mobile device without interrupting their viewing experience. The consumer could then shop the website from the mobile device as they would typically — browsing products, adding items to the cart, and completing the transaction. But they can do it when they’re ready to engage with that product information instead of having to stop their video from doing so.

A new YouTube feature will make its connected TV ads more shoppable – TechCrunch

The advertisers will also smartly target the ads to the correct audience based on the video content. For example, a fitness video may feature a brand extension ad that shows a new pair of running shoes. YouTube says advertisers will measure the conversions generated by these brand extensions directly in Google Ads. In a related e-commerce ad effort, brands can add browsable product images to their direct response video ads to encourage interested shoppers to visit their website or app. These are only a few of the efforts YouTube has been working on to expand further into e-commerce.

Today, consumers, particularly younger Gen Z users, like to watch videos and engage. At the same time, they shop, leading to the emergence of numerous video shopping services — like Popshop Live, NTWRK, ShopShops, TalkShopLive, Bambuser, and others. Facebook has also invested in live and video-based shopping across Facebook and Instagram. Meanwhile, TikTok had become home to video-based e-commerce, with Walmart (which also tried to acquire a stake in the app when Trump tried to force a sale) hosting multiple shopping live streams in recent months. TikTok also succeeded with e-commerce as it has rolled out more tools to direct video viewers to websites through integrated links and integrations with Shopify.

But YouTube still has a sizable potential audience for video shopping, representing 40% of the watch time of all ad-supported streaming services, per Comscore data. And of the top five streaming services in the U.S. that account for 80% of the connected TV market, only two are ad-supported, YouTube noted. Ads are only one way YouTube will drive e-commerce traffic. Creators will also play a role. This past fall, a report from Bloomberg said YouTube asked creators to tag and track the products they featured in their clips. In February, YouTube later revealed more about this effort, saying it was beta testing a shopping experience that lets viewers shop from their favorite creators and that this would roll out more broadly in 2021. However, brand extensions are separate from that effort as they’re focused on giving the advertiser their means to drive a shopping experience from a video. YouTube says the new brand extension ads are only the first of more interactive features the company has in store. The feature will roll out globally later this year.


I have always enjoyed writing and reading other people's blogs. I started writing a journal as a teenager and have since written numerous books and articles. My blog is a place where I can write freely about my personal interests and those of others.

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