In the latest financial and business news, it seems that a growing cohort of businesses are not happy with their results after investing in YouTube ads. Ad buyers are incensed about certain problems that have surfaced surrounding the Google Preferred service. Google billed this service as a way for companies to quickly, seamlessly buy ads that play before popular YouTube videos. Google has reportedly sold Google Preferred as a brand-safe advertising tool. However, advertisers continue to see their ads play before videos with hate speech, profanity and raunchy speech. Though Google is actively deleting inappropriate channels from the Google Preferred lineup, many customers are still unhappy that their advertisements can be associated with untoward or questionable video content.
Though YouTube claims it is doing its best to improve Google Preferred, some commentators have questioned why the advertising service is still so flawed after five years of operation. YouTube has been widely branded as the successor to network TV. Compared to traditional TV advertisers, Google Preferred users don’t have nearly as much control over how their ads are placed. In the old days, advertisers know what various TV programs were like. This enabled advertisers to easily match their ads with like-minded programs. There are so many influential YouTube channels that advertisers can’t really keep up with all of the various channels. Instead, Google Preferred users trust Google to algorithmically match clients with the right channels and videos.
In the course of the past year, brand safety issues with YouTube have grown in the wake of a number of investigative reports from mainstream periodicals. Sources that have reported critically on Google Preferred include the Times of London and the Wall Street Journal. If Google isn’t able to clean up its brand safety issues, this may threaten the ad business that lies at the heart of Google’s business model. Supposing this causes Google stock to fall, this could in turn cast a financial pall over tech stocks in general.