Google's Programmatic Walls Get Higher By Removing YouTube From AdX

Google this week announced it will remove YouTube inventory from the DoubleClick Ad Exchange by the end of the year. This is a “walled garden” being built before your very eyes.

No, it’s not a wall quite like the one from HBO’s “Game of Thrones” -- a Google representative said to Real-Time Daily that the move will only impact a “relatively small amount of YouTube buying” -- but it does give YouTube, and therefore Google, an air of exclusivity.

Jeff Green, CEO of The Trade Desk, said that while YouTube only represents a small piece of its business -- less than 2% -- he is “worr[ied] that it’s a step back for Google in supporting the open ads marketplace.” 



“YouTube was once the biggest property in programmatic,” Green added. “They are a very small part of it now.”

Similarly, TubeMogul’s CEO and co-founder Brett Wilson said that YouTube represented less than 5% of the total ad spend through TubeMogul's platform during Q2 2015. He was disappointed nonetheless.

For advertisers, this is an unfortunate development as they are now effectively prohibited from buying non-skippable video ads and from using data for targeting on YouTube,” Wilson said.

Of course, Green, Wilson and other ad tech platforms will be disappointed because even though YouTube only accounted for a relatively small portion of their businesses, it cuts off a premium supply source nonetheless.

The walled gardens have risen higher. If an advertiser wants to do everything on YouTube, they have to use Google-owned platforms and Google data. An advertiser can still programmatically buy YouTube ads, but it has to be through the AdWords API or via DoubleClick Bid Manager.

For its part, the move gives Google even more control over one of the most sought after video hubs on the Web. By putting YouTube inventory on the open marketplace (even though it was only a small amount), Google was relinquishing some of its authority. It now wants to reel it back in.

While disappointed, Green credited Google for what it has done (not what it plans to do). He acknowledged that Google's participation in the open marketplace -- slim and short though it may have been -- was a "catalyst to forcing more of the premium content (non-UGC) to participate."

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