Google and YouTube roll out Google Preferred

Google has launched Google Preferred in the MENA region as it seeks to drive revenue through digital advertising and respond to changes in the way media is consumed.

Concentrating on the UAE and Saudi Arabia initially, the roll out targets advertisers seeking to reserve inventory from among the top five per cent of YouTube’s most popular and engaging channels. It will do this via an algorithm that assesses watch time, subscriptions, likes and other engagement metrics to identify the top five per cent of YouTube channels. The platform has already been rolled out in the US and a handful of countries in Europe.

Rayan Karaky, Google Preferred trading lead in the MENA region, said: “Across multiple countries, we have heard from brands who want to better understand what content they’re buying their advertising against, creators who deserve to be rewarded for creating engaging content in a more scientific way, as well as the consumer who showed more willingness to engage with brands featured on their favourite channels. That’s where Google Preferred comes in, Google Preferred will enable us to have conversations with agencies and marketers that we would not have had before.

“Primetime premium content is now defined by the viewers, content that they are truly passionate about and engaged with. Google Preferred offers advertisers and agencies an amazing platform to identify and reach audiences at these key primetime moments.”

A number of advertisers are already on board, including PepsiCo. Commenting on the move, Dani Afiouni, regional director of consumer engagement at PepsiCo Middle East and Africa, said: “The exponential growth of YouTube viewership and the increasing loyalty of audiences to top channels make the platform essential to our consumer engagement and content distribution strategy. With Google Preferred we are now able to distribute our brand content across screens, at scale, with an increased focus on the best creators.”

Across the MENA region, consumers are creating huge libraries of videos, with 68 per cent of viewers sharing or talking about YouTube videos with friends.