YouTube updates its Google Preferred product

Platform changes include a commitment to human-reviewed content.
By: Gil C /

YouTube announced changes to its Google Preferred packages last week, including ad-supported original programming and Canadian-specific regulatory controls for advertisers.

The announcement was made Thursday at the platform’s annual upfront event, Brandcast, in New York.

Entering its second year – and consisting of the top five percent of the most engaging content on YouTube – the Google Preferred product now offers original programming. In addition, inventory from music hosting service Vevo will be available on Google Preferred, according to Nicole Bell, communications and public affairs at Google and YouTube Canada. Last year, the content lineup, which runs across categories such as Beauty & Fashion, Entertainment & Pop Culture or Foods & Recipes, garnered over 700 million views.

Bell says the general reserved buys available on Google Preferred make purchasing easier for advertisers, with ads running against top shows as well as other channels and videos in the Google Preferred collection.

Rolling out globally throughout 2018, the new programming features big names like Will Smith, Priyanka Chopra and Lebron James.

Platform changes also include country-specific controls for advertisers, where videos are verified by machines and humans for compliance with the company’s advertiser-friendly guidelines.

“We made a commitment earlier this year that all of the videos that are contained within our Google Preferred corpus will be human-verified,” Bell tells MiC, noting that partners across many markets, including Canada, were eager to see this regulatory addition to the product.

The updates come after other changes implemented over the past year that give advertisers more visibility and control of how and where ads appear, including alterations to the YouTube Partner program – which determines channels eligible for monetization – such as training its systems to assess content with a more fine-toothed comb.

Over 400 hours worth of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, according to Bell. Safety and transparency have become a growing concern across the industry, with the rise of programmatic resulting in greater instances of fraudulent content sharing.