Each month, we take a deep dive into major video platforms to uncover the latest updates and changes that matter to marketers. This month, we’re focusing on YouTube, as the platform is launching a slate of updates for both advertisers and viewers that marketers need to know.

There’s a lot happening at YouTube.

Starting Q4 off with a bang, the platform is launching two exciting new features for marketers: Brand Fans, and Mastheads. YouTube also recently rolled out two updates on the consumer side — features that will further engage its massive audience.

But first, let’s talk about that massive audience.

YouTube is the biggest platform for teens

Investment banking firm Piper Jaffray recently conducted a survey of viewership among teens, and found that young people are flocking to YouTube — with 37% saying they watch YouTube more than any other video service, including Netflix and Cable TV, with Piper Jaffray highlighting “YouTube’s diversified content library, which includes a “wide array of teen-oriented content” like music videos, video game playthroughs, how-to videos and videos from social media influencers, among other things.”

We’ve been documenting the rise in YouTube across the modern viewing public for some time now, especially as more consumers are cutting the cable cord — in fact, we were the first to point out that YouTube was a sleeping giant in the OTT space, as consumers tuned into the platform in the living room via connected TV devices.

We’re a fan of Brand Fans

YouTube is testing an experimental new audience targeting feature called Brand Fans. What is it? This closed beta allows an advertiser to specifically target people based on their interest in a particular brand. This interest is measured by search history on Google, visits to related websites, and viewership of a brand’s videos on YouTube — and YouTube goes even further to validate this interest using consumer surveys, and drives scale through lookalike modeling.

For example, I’m a big fan of Everlane. Casual basics produced sustainably and at a reasonable price? Yes please! So, I’m all over their website, and I’ve watched a bunch of their YouTube videos as well — by targeting against Everlane Brand Fans, an advertiser would reach me, and consumers that share similar behaviors on YouTube.

And it’s working real well — we tested Brand Fans audiences for one of our customers, we found that it delivered a 33% higher view rate than industry benchmarks. While promising, the feature is still in its early stages, and only available to approved, whitelisted advertisers — but worth keeping an eye on as YouTube continues to develop it.

YouTube Masthead Ads Now Available

YouTube Masthead Ads represents a massive opportunity for marketers, exposing a brand’s message to everyone that logs onto YouTube, right at the top of the screen. And now, Mastheads are available on a CPM basis, and will even serve on YouTube for TV Screens.

Previously, marketers had to pony up for a full-day takeover of the Masthead. While that option is still available, a full-day takeover was often out of reach for marketers, and lacked the sophisticated targeting solutions that attract marketers to the platform in the first place. Now, marketers can apply YouTube’s advanced targeting to precisely reach their audience with Masthead Ads.

Two New Features for Viewers

YouTube recently launched a fashion vertical to create a dedicated space for the millions of viewers that flock to the platform for style and beauty content. The new vertical will feature top influencer and industry content, behind-the-scenes looks at fashion shows, vlogs, and more.

Finally, YouTube TV launched on Amazon Fire devices, joining the main YouTube app on the top connected TV streaming device — this addition to the Amazon Fire app ecosystem will likely drive increased audience adoption of YouTube and YouTube TV.

Want to learn more about the latest updates to YouTube? Let’s get in touch — we’d love to walk you through how Pixability’s approach to video drives results for marketers.