YouTube to provide viewer data to advertisers

YouTube reportedly plans to give brands more transparency for viewed ads

YouTube could be gearing up to let brands utilize third-party services to help them account for which ads are actually being seen by viewers. It’s believed that by doing so, the company can support justifications about why brands should be doing business with the video social network following complaints by the likes of Unilever and Kellogg’s.

Reported by the Financial Times, brands are becoming concerned that YouTube isn’t being as transparent with its reporting. They’re buying ads but they’re not sure whether those campaigns are actually being seen. And there are a variety of reasons, such as being outside of a person’s screen (chances are that if you have to scroll, videos may not be viewed) or if the potential viewer just ups and leaves the page before it’s been fully loaded.

Although Google does give analytics to advertisers through its Active View offering, advertisers are looking for ways to really understand if their dollars are being properly utilized. And rather than just taking YouTube’s word for it, the use of these third-party services could help brands know whether their campaigns could be retooled or repositioned.

In May, it was also reported that Kellogg and other brands would be reigning inits marketing dollars from not only YouTube, but also Facebook over its belief that the social networking companies prohibited letting third-party viewability companies to come in and verify the analytics.

Sources told the Financial Times that YouTube is planning to let third-party verification groups insert code onto its site, enabling these independent entities collect data on the position and context of the ads. YouTube could roll this out before the end of the year and will likely be an appealing target for the likes of ComScore, DoubleVerify, and Integral Ad Science.