This is a move that put YouTube in direct competition with Spotify, the popular music-streaming platform that offers free ad services. The latter is currently working with renowned brands to drive engagement and advertising revenue at a time when the growth of premium subscribers is stunting.
With this venture, YouTube seeks to leverage its capacity as an audio-streaming platform by rolling out what it calls, "dynamic music lineups". This can be either viewed by audiences as a music video or listened to as background music. These lineups feature some famous genres, such as Latin, hip-hop, K-pop, and Top 100s. There are music tracks that suit different moods of listeners or meet their interests, for example, fitness.
YouTube has already moved its testing from alpha to beta stage, inserting 15-second of audio ads into its music playlists. The tests of the new format showed a significant rise in awareness among the brands that took part. Shutterfly, for instance, saw a significant 14-percent ad recall lift and a 2-percent favorability boost among its audience using the new YouTube audio ads.
Media buyers that are on Google Ads, as well as Display & Video 360 platforms, can purchase audio ads on cost-per-thousand basis in programmatic auctions. Moreover, they can have the same targeting options as they have while running video campaigns on YouTube. As people are stuck indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are seeking more and more digital entertainment, YouTube's audio ads captured this consumer behavior perfectly.