YouTube is rolling out a new ad product that will allow any video to become “shoppable.”
That means that companies will be able to buy visual ads with links to buy products on their own sites on any video on YouTube.
Previously, brands could only include a product listing drop-down on their own videos, but now they can buy product ads on any video that allows this type of ad (through an auction).
This is an extension of what YouTube calls its True View for shopping ads.
It’s different from the Google “Buy Button,” which allows people to make purchases directly through Google Search results, because these ads will just directly the viewer to the product or brand’s website.
What does this mean for you?
If you watch a lot of product reviews on YouTube, you’ll start seeing a little “I” icon on the top-right corner of those videos. Click on that, and you’ll see a visual list of products that are similar (or the same) as what you see in the videos.
Diya Jolly, the exec running YouTube’s advertising product group, told Business Insider that YouTube has done a lot of testing to make the new ads as helpful and unobtrusive to viewers as possible, and that she expects that YouTube will continue tweaking the look and feel before the ads roll out this fall. She also shared that there are more than one million channels on YouTube with product review videos, and that those videos have seen over 40 percent growth in viewership over the past year.
For YouTube video creators, this new type of ad means they now have another potential revenue stream to monetize their videos.
For YouTube, it’s another way to siphon more money from TV ads to digital, with the pitch that these ads can target users who clearly looking to buy a product.
“With this type of ad, you’re now able to measure your ROI much better than you could on TV,” Jolly says.