Amid Advertiser Concerns, Pixability Rolls Out YouTube Brand-Safety Solution

As advertisers and marketers continue to make sense of YouTube’s recent changes to its advertising and monetization platform, the video advertising software company Pixability is rolling out a solution that it says will guarantee 100% brand safety on the video service.

Pixability’s solution is layered on top of YouTube’s built-in safety controls.

“[YouTube is] playing transparently, but you get a list of video urls and ad impression. That's fine, but for a typical large size campaign you are looking at a list of 1.5 million videos, and there is no way you can ever verify this manually,” Pixability CTO Andreas Goeldi told Digital News Daily, adding that some agencies have tried to solve the problem by manually reviewing a random selection of the videos their ads appeared on.



“For many people we work with, that is by far not not granular enough,” Goeldi adds. “Standard tools are fine. Don’t get me wrong, it is great technology, but it is designed for a broad market."

Pixability’s solution analyzes metadata from every video, as well as the tags and transcription when available, to give each channel and each video a “score.” Then the company works with its clients to determine whether a video channel is both brand-safe and appropriate for each advertiser.

“Everyone agrees on a basic set up of brand-safety needs. No one wants to advertise on terrorism [videos], for example, but brand appropriateness varies from advertiser to advertiser,” says Alan Beiagi, Pixability’s chief product officer. “What makes sense for a violent video game doesn’t make sense for a luxury brand.”

For example, some brands may not want to advertise on music videos, while others may want to avoid any videos with guns in them. One problem, of course, is that lots of videos have music in them, and some kid-friends videos include shots of or mention Nerf toy guns, which many advertisers would be fine with. A combination of artificial intelligence and human review attempts to make a distinction between that content.

YouTube is in the midst of a significant overhaul of its monetization and standards, in the wake of a controversial video posted by one of its biggest creators, Logan Paul. Paul’s video, which he subsequently took down and apologized for, led to the site tightening its rules around what channels can seek monetization, and to having creators in its “preferred” platform see each video they post get reviewed manually before it can be monetized.

Over the past year, YouTube has also dealt with complaints from advertisers who saw their creative appear on videos published by terrorist groups, and on videos that YouTube presented as kid-safe, but were clearly inappropriate for children.

Those concerns are  spurring on products such as Pixability’s new solution, with other third-party companies and even some advertisers taking action on the brand safety front. JPMorgan Chase, one of the biggest digital advertisers, is creating its own proprietary algorithm that will plug into YouTube’s API to try and identify brand-safe videos and channels.

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