Google adds cross-platform ad muting

The update is paired with YouTube changes including a reduction in relying on pixels and cookies as it gravitates to cloud-based tracking.

YouTube has unveiled new global ad updates in order for advertisers and agencies to better measure their campaigns across multiple platforms and screens, as more and more users flock to mobile for content consumption. These changes include cloud-based tracking and measurement, more custom control for users and less reliance on pixels and cookies.

In an effort to reflect the amount of users multi-tasking with their technology, YouTube parent company Google has upped the amount of control for users, particularly on mobile.

In the coming weeks, Google will roll out a new tool that allows users to mute ads across all Google platforms on both desktop and mobile in one action. For example, if a signed-in user mutes an ad on Google Search, it will automatically be muted on YouTube as well. Google said this option was added as users have increasingly been using different Google services simultaneously (such as search and YouTube) especially on multiple devices.

Google first unveiled muting for display ads in 2012, which at the time was  available within its channels including search, YouTube and Gmail. However, the new update allows users to instantly mute the ads across all platforms when they mute it within a single Google channel.

According to Google’s own analytics, more than 50% of YouTube views now occur on mobile. For Canada specifically, according to a YouTube Canada blog post from September 2016, the number of hours Canadians spent watching YouTube daily on mobile and tablet rose 60% year-over-year between 2014 and 2015.

Google is also in the process of developing a cloud-based measurement solution for advertisers to get more detailed insights into their campaign success. Using the example of a car manufacturer, a Google blog post announcing the updates said that advertisers could now gain understanding into the impact had on a more specific audience such as previous SUV buyers.

As the company moves more toward cloud-based solutions, Google will also be reducing its use of tracking technology such as pixels and cookies, which it says were mostly “built for a single screen.”

“Neither pixels nor anonymous cookies were designed for the ways in which users increasingly watch content on YouTube, like on the mobile app or in the living room,” YouTube product manager Diya Jolly wrote in the blog. Jolly added that this can lead to inconsistent measurement, creating less relevant ads across screens.

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