YouTube launches audio ads in beta phase

YouTube audio ads

Adapting to the widespread consumer behavior on YouTube that is using the video platform for listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks, and more, the platform has now rolled out audio ads.

Audio ads are available in beta via auction on Google Ads and Display & Video 360 on a CPM basis with the same audience targeting options, bidding strategies and Brand Lift measurement capabilities, and brand safety features as YouTube video campaigns.

The audio ads would comprise of a still image or basic animation as a visual, with the main focus on the soundtrack that would put the communication across.

Advertisements for products or services in sensitive verticals such as healthcare and medicines, alcohol, or gambling, cannot be created during the beta phase.

The maximum ad length can be 30 seconds, and the maximum file size is 128 GB, and the supported aspect ratios are 16:9, and 4:3 with black bars added on the sides. You can read instructions to create an audio ad here.

While conceptualizing audio ads, advertisers should think of them as audio-only, as even if the ad is supported with a visual, it is highly unlikely that the user has their eyes on the screen.

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As users would probably be doing a household chore while listening to a podcast, working out while listening to an album, and more similar activities, which is why it is important to base the whole and sole communication on audio and make it easy to understand and attention-grabbing.

Kind of like radio ads from the past days, but advertisers should avoid the equivalent of tire screech or siren sounds, that grabs attention but are frowned upon.

YouTube mentions more than 50 percent of logged-in viewers who consume music content in a day consume more than 10 minutes of music content.

The platform also claims that more than 75 percent of measured audio ad campaigns on YouTube drove a significant lift in brand awareness during the alpha tests.

Music listening is a growing consumer habit that is also already widespread, especially on desktops. The previously untapped territory holds potential especially for record labels, podcast platforms, and audiobook publishers, but can be leveraged by brands from all sectors to increase brand awareness.