VOD Wars!!

Will YouTube’s newest brand safety shocker prove an opportunity for ITV?

In the wake of Mars pulling its advertising from YouTube after another brand safety blunder, analysts have said a new opportunity has arisen for ITV and other broadcasters to take a larger market share of VOD advertising.

For the second time in as many years Mars says it has ceased advertising on YouTube after a Starburst Ad ran at the start of a video by controversial drill group Moscow17. One of the group’s members, Siddique Kamara, was stabbed to death in south London the week prior.

Last week Mars said that it had removed all online advertising on YouTube and was now working with the platform’s owner Google and its media agency to understand what went wrong. “Until we have confidence that appropriate safeguards are in place, we will not advertise on YouTube,” the company said.

Youtube’s losses in the VOD sector may well be to ITV’s gain.
ITV currently has a 6% share in the VOD market versus around 46% of UK TV advertising. Meanwhile the UK online video ad market grew 47% year on year in 2017 to around £1.7bn and is continuing to take share from other parts of online advertising.

YouTube’s “inability to prevent adverts appearing alongside inappropriate content would create an opportunity for ITV and other broadcasters to take share in the online video market, by highlighting to advertisers that their online products offer a brand safe environment and an audience that is almost entirely human rather than bot traffic,” one analyst said. If ITV can double its share of VOD spend, then by the end of 2021 its earnings estimates would increase by 20%.

We understand that youtube’s parent, Google, is actively working with the Metropolitan Police to review videos that may be connected with the murder of Mr Kamara. “Along with others in the UK, we share the deep concern about this issue and do not want our platform used to incite violence,” Google’s spokesman said.

Google clearly needs to sharpen youtube’s act quickly. In tackling the problem cash won’t be an issue for Google, but time will. How long will it be before they’re ahead of the curve and in place to begin to limit the damage?

by Richard Huglin.

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