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YouTube Outlines Connected TV Focus as part of 2022 NewFronts Push

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YouTube Outlines Connected TV Focus as part of 2022 NewFronts Push


YouTube has announced that it will be the principal sponsor of the upcoming 2022 IAB NewFronts event, a showcase of the latest opportunities and innovations for digital advertisers, while it’s also outlined how it will focus on promoting Connected TV as a key platform for advertisers at the event.

Connected TV has emerged as an essential consideration, with more people now streaming digital content to their home TV sets, which effectively provides traditional TV commercial reach potential, with more in-depth online content targeting.

That, in-turn, enables more businesses to utilize TV-like ads – and according to YouTube, it’s now serving over 135 million Connected TV viewers with its content each month.

As explained by YouTube:

YouTube accounts for over 50% of ad-supported streaming watch time on connected TVs among people ages 18 and up. And over 35% of YouTube CTV viewers ages 18 and up can’t be reached by any other ad-supported streaming service, according to Nielsen.”

Indeed, while other streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ rely on subscriptions, YouTube offers unique potential for brands, because its primary revenue driver is still ad content, as opposed to its Premium offering. That effectively means that YouTube is actually benefiting from the rise of these other providers, because as people become more accustomed to watching CTV content, in any form, that complements the others, with YouTube usage rising on the back of the streaming trend.

These days, more people are spending all of their watch time with these digital platforms, a trend which is particularly prominent among younger audiences. That will eventually see traditional TV channels lose traction, which means that Connected TV, in many ways, is the future of media consumption, and while the logical extension of that will be VR and AR viewing, right now, Connected TV may well be the best opportunity to maximize your brand message

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During New Fronts, YouTube will host a range of sessions and events, which will provide more insight into its ad development.

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“For the first time, we’ll host YouTube Brandcast, our annual advertiser showcase, during the week of the Upfronts. The live show – taking place on May 17 at 8 p.m. ET in New York – will feature top creators and music talent. Advertisers will be able to tune in via live stream. We’ll also share insights with advertisers throughout the week, kicking off with an event in partnership with MediaLink on Monday, May 2, featuring industry leaders and creators discussing the future of content and the role of the creator economy.

The key message of YouTube’s NewFronts push will be that in today’s on-demand world, it’s viewers – not networks – that ultimately determine what’s popular, and that will change media approaches moving forward.

“Our creators are building passionate fan bases that fuel viewership. YouTube creators like Emma Chamberlain, Marques Brownlee and newer creators leaning into YouTube Shorts like Katie Feeney, Jake Fellman, The Beverly Halls and Lisa Nguyen are the next generation in media brands. YouTube is the only destination that can help creators produce all forms of content, whether it’s Shorts, live streams or videos on demand. YouTube is the Main Stream.”

A key note within this is that YouTube is “the only destination that can help creators produce all forms of content”, as opposed to, say, TikTok, which can only facilitate short-form video, which means that the opportunities it can provide, both for creators and advertisers, are more limited.

No doubt this will be another key point of emphasis for YouTube at the event – and really, it does have a strong case to suggest that it will stand the test of time in the space, as TikTok, and other competitors, work to establish their own monetization models.

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It’s an interesting, and potentially valuable push from YouTube, and the data does increasingly support the fact that YouTube is now a mainstream video content option, in more and more homes around the world.

Many people don’t even watch commercial TV anymore, and as more of them turn to YouTube instead, that facilitates even more opportunity for brands to get their promotions on the biggest screen in the house, in front of the key audiences they need to reach.

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We’ll no doubt hear a lot more about this in May, when NewFronts 2022 begins.



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Meta Announces WhatsApp Cloud API to Provide Hosting Support for SMBs

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Meta Announces WhatsApp Cloud API to Provide Hosting Support for SMBs

After previewing the option back in 2020, today, at its first-ever ‘Conversations’ messaging conference, Meta has announced that it’s launching the WhatsApp Cloud API, which will provide free, secure cloud hosting services for businesses.

As it sounds, the WhatsApp Cloud API will essentially host your conversation data on Meta’s servers, which will improve connection and speed, but will come with a degree of privacy trade-off.

The main benefits will be improved speed in messaging response, while it’ll also help to eliminate server expenses, which could be a big benefit to smaller businesses, in particular. It’ll also facilitate faster access to new WhatsApp business features as they become available.

The downside is that it will mean more reliance on Meta, while you’ll also need to dilute WhatsApp’s messaging security measures:

As Meta described in its original announcement:

If a business chooses to use a third-party vendor to operate the WhatsApp Business API on their behalf, we do not consider that to be end-to-end encrypted since the business you are messaging has chosen to give a third-party vendor access to those messages. This will also be the case if that third-party vendor is Facebook.”

As such, WhatsApp will include new notifications on consumer-to-business exchanges conducted through Meta hosting.

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How you feel about such trade-offs will come down to your personal perspective, but the offering could be highly valuable for smaller businesses looking to build out their tech stack, without having to sign on to a third-party hosting vendor, or buy their own hardware.

But again, that does also mean increasing your reliance on Meta, which has notoriously changed the rules on businesses in the past, leaving many in the lurch.

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The real benefit, however, will likely be in developing regions, where WhatsApp is the dominant messaging platform, and many small businesses are looking for ways to maximize their reach and transactions in-app. If Meta can assist them in building their business, that could be a big step in making WhatsApp a more critical utility, for many more users, while also, eventually, providing a direct revenue pathway for the messaging platform.

Though it does feel like a bit of a honey trap. Meta has already flagged that it will eventually introduce charges for these additional elements, without specifically outlining what those costs will be. Once businesses are reliant on such, it’ll be too late to back out, and Meta could ensnare them via incremental increases, that may eventually become a big earner for the company.

On another front, Meta also announced Recurring Notifications on Messenger, which will enable businesses to re-engage people within a messaging thread. The feature is only available to premium users at present, which doesn’t cost more to be part of right now, but will in future as Meta looks to incorporate new charges for its messaging and hosting tools.

You can check out replays of the Conversations conference presentations here.

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