Blog Post

Understanding CTV: YouTube TV vs. YouTube for TV Screens

There’s no way around it — it’s open season on cable boxes. More and more consumers are cutting the cord, leading to record drops in linear TV viewership. However, advertisers shouldn’t despair, as these consumers are still looking to watch video content, just on their terms: on mobile, and increasingly on living room screens.

However, the living room streaming space is vast, with new players entering seemingly every day. For example, Amazon-owned IMDb recently launched a new ad-supported TV streaming service, IMDb Freedive — and I’ve watched Ryan Gosling moonlight as a getaway driver in 2011’s Drive twice already. This recent addition to the Connected TV ecosystem in particular highlights the draw of Connected TV to consumers: more flexibility in finding what they want to want to watch, and ad experiences designed with users in mind. For example, I didn’t see the same ad twice — mitigating ad fatigue — and the ad breaks were well-timed and of high-quality.

At Pixability, we’re on the cutting edge of Connected TV advertising — in fact, we uncovered that YouTube is a sleeping giant in the Connected TV space – and we want all advertisers to be caught up as well.

YouTube TV vs. YouTube for TV Screens

Across the complicated CTV ecosystem, the most common question I get from advertisers is on the difference between YouTube TV and YouTube for TV Screens.

Let’s break it down. YouTube TV is Google’s skinny bundle of linear TV networks, available to subscribing consumers. Buying inventory on YouTube TV requires you to go through your Google rep, similar to Google Preferred ad buys.

The similarly-named YouTube for TV Screens, however, is a targeting tactic available within AdWords — and of course, within streamlined audience and campaign builders like Pixability’s platform. In the same way marketers can limit or include mobile devices and tablets in their targeting strategies, selecting YouTube for TV Screens allows marketers to reach audiences watching YouTube content on their living room devices. When Google launched YouTube for TV Screens, Pixability was the only partner they asked to take part in the announcement.

We’re seeing a rapid shift towards more YouTube viewership on TV Screens, as Google expands inventory and as consumers grow more comfortable watching YouTube on TV — in addition, many set-top box producers are rolling out products with native YouTube integrations, opening up access.

Looking ahead, we anticipate consumers will primarily consume digital video on the go via mobile devices, and at home on their living room screens. Below, you can see recent brand viewership data from a campaign that Pixability drove — while only one campaign, it illustrates how quickly viewership is changing.

With so many different options to reach audiences via Connected TV screens, it can be intimidating for advertisers to understand where to begin. But for advertisers already buying on YouTube, it’s simple and straightforward to dip a toe into the Connected TV space through YouTube for TV Screens targeting.

Through this new targeting method, advertisers can reach leaned-back, fully engaged audiences, and even motivate consumers to take action through clickable elements.

Want to learn more about reaching consumers via the largest screen in the house? Let’s connect — we’d love to walk you through our innovative approach to video, and connect your brand’s message with audiences through YouTube for TV Screens.