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YouTube's new audio ads were designed for music and podcast fans

The ads will target users listening to YouTube in the background.
Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
November 18, 2020
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JGI/Jamie Grill via Getty Images

YouTube has launched a new ad format that gives brands a way to use audio as the primary means to communicate their message. In the video-sharing platform’s announcement, it said the new format was designed to target audiences that use the website for “ambient listening.” In other words, if you access YouTube — the main service and not YouTube Music — to listen to music and podcast in the background, you’ll soon come across ads that may seem like they were made for the radio or for services like Spotify. “Think: If I close my eyes, I can still clearly understand what this ad is about,” YouTube explains.

According to Variety, these audio-first advertisements will be around 15 seconds long. They’ll still come with a visual component, but they’ll only be still images or simple animation. The new format is still in beta, but it’s been in alpha testing for months. YouTube says “more than 75 percent of measured audio ad campaigns on YouTube drove a significant lift in brand awareness.”

In addition to the new ad format, the website has also launched a new feature called dynamic music lineups. They’re a dedicated groups of channels focused on music divided by popular genres, such as K-Pop and hip-hop, or by interests, such as fitness. Again, the purpose for this new feature is to make it easier for marketers to target audiences based on the things they like.

In this article: YouTube, audio ads, news, entertainment
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