YouTube boosts music ad efforts and reaches 1.8 billion monthly logged-in viewers
YouTube says it now has 1.8 billion monthly logged-in viewers: the stat was announced at the company’s Brandcast event for advertisers in New York. YouTube also announced that its Google Preferred initiative for premium advertising will now include “our complete music universe, including eligible Vevo channels and videos”. This could mean a boost in the advertising revenues being generated arou
nd music videos on YouTube, which should in turn increase the payouts to rightsholders.As "Music Ally" points out, this isn’t a straight solution to the "value gap" debate, but it does address one of the subcurrents of those arguments: which is that short-form music videos may not be monetising as well as longer, non-music content on YouTube, from vlogs and how-tos to gaming Let’s Play videos. While removing the platform’s safe harbours and thus reducing its bargaining chips with rightsholders come licence-renewal time is seen as one way to boost payouts, actually generating more ad revenues around music is another lever that can be pulled.
In the meantime, YouTube is bumping up its efforts around original content and music too. Demi Lovato will get another documentary commissioned by YouTube, following the 16.3m views of her ‘Simply Complicated’ film last year. YouTube also says it’s producing more of its ‘artist spotlight stories’ mini-docs in 2018, with Shawn Mendes, J Balvin and Janelle Monaé among those getting the treatment.
The company has also expanded its exclusive live-streaming deal with the Coachella festival until 2021. All of this is happening in the run-up to YouTube’s relaunch of its music-subscription offering, which is expected to roll YouTube Red (at least its music elements) and Google Play Music into a new service, with a strong emphasis on curation and recommendations.