With connected TV (CTV) watch time on the rise (aka people watching digital video content on their home TV sets), YouTube’s looking to improve its CTV solutions for advertisers, in order to provide TV-like ad reach and resonance at a much more affordable price.

Which could be a key consideration for boosting brand awareness – but in order to ensure that advertisers get the most bang for their buck, YouTube also needs to be transparent in how it tracks the performance of its CTV options.

Which is where this new announcement comes in. Today, YouTube has announced an expansion of its partnership with Nielsen which will provide more ways for advertisers to measure their total audience reached by YouTube CTV campaigns.

As explained by YouTube:

Last year, we launched Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) and Comscore Campaign Ratings (CCR) to help you more easily measure your YouTube CTV campaigns alongside other media. Later this year, YouTube CTV and YouTube TV will be available in Nielsen Total Ad Ratings (TAR) in the US. This release will include deduplication of YouTube inventory across all platforms – CTV, computer, mobile and linear TV – to better compare YouTube reach to linear TV.

In other words, YouTube will now provide more direct comparisons between your ad reach via traditional TV campaigns and YouTube CTV, independently verified by Nielsen’s measurement process.

“You’ll also see CTV device metrics within your media mix model (MMM) data feed, which can help measure sales outcomes and share insights on the impact of your YouTube CTV investment. To make the data analysis process faster for clients and easier for our measurement partners, we’ve launched a new data platform for MMM providers and advertisers to request data, track the status of those requests and ingest data directly.

And again, it is definitely worth considering – according to Nielsen analysis, on average, YouTube CTV is 3.1x more effective than traditional TV across US consumer packaged goods (CPG) MMMs.

YouTube CTV effectiveness

Expect those stats to keep leaning in YouTube’s favour over time, as more people watch even more YouTube content on their TV sets – which is especially relevant when you consider the media consumption habits of younger audiences, to whom YouTube has always been a primary entertainment option.

Last year, YouTube reported that over 120 million people are now consuming YouTube CTV content monthly, a number that’s projected to continue to rise in the coming years.

YouTube CTV viewers

In addition to this, the actual reach of YouTube CTV should also factor in more viewers, with further Nielsen insights showing that 26% of the time, multiple 18+ viewers are watching YouTube together on the TV screen.

With this in mind, Google will also include co-viewing metrics in Nielsen’s DAR guarantees ad reporting for US Advertisers by the end of Q2, while it’s also adding new frequency controls for CTV campaigns to help avoid exposure fatigue.

It should be a key consideration for almost all brands, with TV campaigns traditionally driving the best response for brand awareness and action, and YouTube’s advanced targeting making them potentially even more effective, and cheaper, given the more specific audience focus options.

Of course, people can also just skip on through these ads, and for many, that’s almost a habitual response (my kids just exit the video and re-load to avoid the pre-rolls). But even so, there is big potential here, and the right targeting and products could end up generating big results from YouTube’s advancing CTV offerings.

You can learn more about YouTube’s latest CTV ad updates here.

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