In an effort directed at more lucrative advertising, YouTube has launched a programme to reach more valuable viewers who watch content on TV screens. The move comes at a time when the pandemic has forced most brands to make serious cuts on their digital advertising costs, which form YouTube’s core revenue.

The program called “YouTube Select” is a part of YouTube’s offered assurance to marketers that the platform is safe and suitable for advertising. Initially, Google Preferred sold ads to appear on the top 5% of YouTube channels based on popularity. Along the same lines, YouTube Select is meant to give marketers access to a more curated, higher quality selection of creators and publishers.

The core content will reportedly remain the same as it was under Google Preferred including music, sports, gaming and technology. Through ‘Youtube Select’, advertisers can buy spaces on the top of these YouTube videos. While YouTube Select changes up the advertising game in general, it also introduces a specified package focused on YouTube and YouTube TV content that is being streamed on TV screens.

The distinct focus on TV is owing to the fact that viewers are more likely to view content on big screens rather than smartphones. Thus, the ad industry labels this set of consumers as lucrative viewers.

Given the state of affairs, the percentage of viewership that screens content on TV has gone up even more. As Tara Walpert Levy, vice president of agency and brand solutions for Google points out, in the month of March, 100 million viewers under lockdown watched YouTube content on TV. “If you’re a big brand that’s dependant on reaching many people with your message, the ability to access that audience is key” she added.

Due to the budget cuts on ad revenue, traditional TV could lose about $12 billion dollars. On the other hand, given their increased traffic in the pandemic months digital and streaming services could ride the wave. Accordingly, YouTube aims to tap brands that are looking to reach wide audiences and end their ad campaigns.