Google sells best YouTube channels to UK advertisers with 'Preferred' format


Google has launched its 'Preferred' platform in UK, taking the top 5% of channels on YouTube and selling them to advertisers.

Watch this video from Bloomberg analysing the new platform here:

The platform, which breaks down the most popular channels into genres such as food or beauty, was launched this week at a star-studded YouTube 'Brandcast' event in Battersea, London.

Google Preferred, which was launched in the US in April, is designed to make it easy for consumers and marketers to find engaging channels to connect with.


An algorithm identifies a "preference score" that ranks channels by popularity and engagement, using signals including watch time, comments, shares and social embeds.

Eileen Naughton, managing director for UK & Ireland operations and vice-president at Google, said: “Interestingly, in a recent survey AOL found YouTube to be the most effective online platform when it came to raising awareness and driving purchase decisions. We have to make it easy for consumers, and for marketers, to find it (engaging channels on YouTube).


“To identify these top channels, we’ve created the Preference Score: sort of a rating for the digital age. The algorithm ranks channels by popularity and engagement, using signals like watch time, comments, shares, social embeds.

“These are powerful signals. And in tests we’ve run in the US, ads on Google Preferred channels show significantly higher brand awareness and recall.”

At the event, the company revealed that YouTube viewership is growing at 50% each year and over one billion fans are coming to YouTube every month.

'Two-way interaction'

Speaking at the brandcast event, Sebastian Micozzi, UK CMO, PepsiCo, said: “We spent a lot of time researching our audience, how they spent their days, how they consumed content and found that for our core 18-34 year old target audience, social media and digital devices - more so than TV - are an integral part of their everyday life.”

“We believed strongly, that digital media - and in particular- YOUTUBE, would give us the reach and that incomparable two-way interaction with our audience to get us there. The success of the Pepsi Max content in countries like the UK and US, as well as other Pepsico brands on YouTube, has changed the way the entire company views digital strategy. In the UK, we are seeing a 43% increase in media ROI as we too, increase our spend on YouTube significantly.”


The launch event was attending by a raft of musical acts and TV celebrities.

Speaking at the event, TV chef Jamie Oliver said: YouTube is one of the most inspiring places there is. No one decides who succeeds or makes it, and anyone can if they’re authentic and if they understand their fans. It’s all up to the fans—fans who engage with YouTube in a way that’s just not possible on television.YouTube fans don’t demand your perfection, they demand your energy, your authenticity.”


Fellow speaker, Shane Smith, CEO and Founder, Vice Media, added: "Today we are at a historic moment in media. We are witnessing a changing of the guard in real time. Young people are leaving TV in droves and moving to online. As a consequence new brands are being created as we speak. In fact VICE NEWS has already been called the next CNN, but with the scale that YouTube offers I can assure you we will not be the next CNN… we will be 10X the next CNN.”


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