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

Google recently 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 told 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."

This post was previously published on the RTBlog.

2 comments about "Google's Programmatic Walls Get Higher By Removing YouTube From AdX".
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  1. Matt Friedman from bRealTime, August 31, 2015 at 9:02 a.m.

    Google is taking advantage of their marketplace domination through Youtube to force their product adoption of True View on DBM. Ultimately, Google can do what they want with their O&O properties but it hampers the entire Video Buy Side and we’ve seen this before from them with standard display on Youtube. So, I’m not really surprised by their guerrilla tactics to ensure that certain inventory can only be accessed through the Google Stack, but I do not agree with it by any means.

  2. James Faherty from bRealTime, August 31, 2015 at 9:38 a.m.

    This is not a surprising move at all by Google, and I’m shocked they didn’t do this earlier. Google has been known to incentivize buyers to use their platforms, gaining fees and increasing revenues. So it’s a smart move. Though it’s a small amount, taking the inventory off the exchange will heighten user experience, simple as that. This will also result in more TrueView user-friendly ads for YouTube visitors at higher CPMs from Advertisers. In the end, 5% of inventory is small. And if advertisers truly found value in what they were putting on the exchange, they will move to the other platforms to gain access. This has an impact, but not huge by any means

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