As someone who’s spent most of his career in digital media, I’ve been fortunate to see an unbelievable number of industry transitions come and go. Where there is a will there is a way, and in the advertising world that means the dollars follow the audience. Today that audience is online, and a significant number of them spend their time uploading and consuming videos on YouTube. The growth of advertising in streaming video has followed this audience, and it’s a trend we’ve seen first-hand at Vevo, with over 21 billion monthly views or 960 million hours of content consumed each month. The music video is one of the most sought after short-form video formats in the world today, with daily, weekly, and monthly ratings that are equivalent to the most popular network television programming. The enormous scale of streaming video has presented incredible opportunities for brands to break through in the marketplace. It has also created equally significant challenges in creating an audience and brand-safe environment, particularly when it comes to user generated content (UGC).

YouTube is an incredible open platform that’s grown rapidly, democratized video, and created opportunities to reach a seemingly unlimited audience. Like all opportunities, it can come with risks, and is central to the current industry conversation around brand safety. With hundreds of millions of hours of content created and consumed on YouTube daily, some brands have found themselves in the unenviable position of being associated with highly objectionable content. I believe YouTube will take steps to address these issues. That said, we believe there is a safer way for brands to maximize their reach today, with the confidence of knowing who and what they’re aligned with.

With over 300,000 pieces of content, Vevo makes up less than 0.5% of all videos on YouTube, yet according to data from comScore, 43% of YouTube’s monthly audience is watching Vevo content. With Vevo content, a brand can more effectively target where, when, and what it associates with in reaching an audience on YouTube.  Vevo’s content is not UGC, it’s premium, licensed, and professionally produced, with an enormous and unique global reach. In fact, when we looked at an average video buy on Vevo and YouTube, we saw less than 10% duplication across the audiences reached. 

The content is vetted through multiple layers of quality control to ensure the safest environment possible for advertisers including:

  • Automatic categorization if the word “explicit” is in the title or content tags.
  • Manual categorization if the content includes any of the following:

    • Vulgar language
    • Violence and disturbing imagery
    • Nudity and sexually suggestive content
    • Portrayal of harmful or dangerous activities 

What this categorization process does is give brands greater transparency into where and how their campaigns run, and the ability to customize how they target. With Vevo, a client’s advertising only runs on premium content, and can be targeted specifically to over 55,000 artists in our catalog. Our customers also have the option to exclude explicit content. Overall, we believe our clients are better served in the safer environment that Vevo offers on YouTube and other platforms. This approach allows them to maximize reach and minimize risk as they tap into the enormous audience consuming music videos online.