Reports are surfacing that Yahoo will be launching its own YouTube-like service in the coming months. As part of this service, Yahoo would need to lure top talent away from YouTube with the promise of more ad revenue. So it comes as no surprise that YouTube is going make a number of changes to the way it sells ads.
Among the biggest changes is perhaps the fact that Google is going to offer guaranteed audiences to advertisers. What this means is that ads aired on YouTube will continue to air against content until a certain percentage of the target audience is reached. This is a huge change for Google/YouTube as they previously did not offer such a deal. This, combined with a change to allow advertisers to buy advertising space ahead of the content being made could allow channels in the top 5% to make significantly more revenue.
Since these creators make some of the most highly produced content on YouTube, the advertising space could be highly sought after with the new audience guarantee. The resulting effect should be a scarcity in the supply of ad space for the top 5% of creators, driving up the price of that space.
What Does This Mean for the Majority of YouTube Creators?
Now that YouTube has these offerings and as of late last year changed to a more Nielsen-like reporting system, it’s easier to compare apples to apples with advertisers. Google can say it offers similar packages to TV and it can quickly point to metrics where they are superior in reaching a target audience.
So what could this mean for YouTube creators? Probably nothing if they aren’t in the top 5%. The current inventory of video is so enormous that there is simply no scarcity of supply for ad space. Creators who want to get premium dollar for their content need to prove that they have premium content. Your average YouTube channel will likely not be impacted by this change in the immediate future.
YouTube continues to look for ways to increase revenue for top talent, while maintaining control of their revenue splits. But is it enough? As competition for views online gets tighter and tighter, creators are seeking other outlets to pay the bills. Whether that’s brand deals, licensing deals or other partnerships, it’s clear that YouTube isn’t paying the bills like many creators would hope. If moves like this for YouTube can’t give a noticeable boost to creators’ pockets, a new service from Yahoo with better revenue could be just the thing for struggling creators. Of course that all depends on the audience Yahoo can offer content creators. Yahoo might have the money and infrastructure to offer a service like YouTube, but the audience and community that calls it home will be difficult to replicate.