Google TV Ads Are Here – Are They a Big Deal?

YouTube TV hit 8 million subscribers in February 2024, which gives Google a nice incremental platform for ad revenue. And they’re not stopping at YouTube; in January, they introduced a new ad placement, on Google TV.

Any new Google ad inventory is reason for advertisers to pay attention, particularly when the inventory combines TV’s medium with Google’s wealth of targeting and intent data. So just how big a deal is this for our 2024 planning?

Let’s look at the differences between YouTube TV and Google TV ads and where the latter might fit in an advertiser’s planning.


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Google TV Ads vs. YouTube TV Ads

Notably for users, Google TV and YouTube TV’s pricing structures and content are dramatically different. YouTube TV has a base subscription price with paid additional features for live TV channels and content akin to streaming. Google TV is a more a la carte structure where users buy/rent movies or TV series, potentially drawing in customers with its digestible one-off purchases vs a steep monthly payment. This will likely help Google TV attract a different audience than YouTube TV.

For advertisers, one of the bigger caveats with Google TV ads is that while it opens up inventory to advertisers who were once unable to step into the programmatic space through Google Ads, it’s not a standalone placement. In order to serve on Google TV,  you need to couple those ads with YouTube placements in a campaign. It’s important to note, though, that the placement does up inventory in Google TV channels and Google’s inventory in partner apps. 


The Marketing Significance of Google TV Ads

As with YouTube ads, Google TV ads offer marketers a way to reach users on the big screen within the Google ecosystem. Google also seems determined to make it easy for advertisers to test the new ads. Google says, “Your ads are shown within Google TV instream ads inventory which is a combination of inventory from Google TV channels and Google-owned inventory in popular partner apps.” According to the same article, all an advertiser needs to do is select Google TV as a placement in campaign setups. Beyond that, it seems like Google does the rest of the work. 

I’m excited to test these new placements for one major reason - increasing top-of-funnel efforts. Expanding the Google ads inventory into programmatic may open up opportunities for verticals that have little to no testing data for this placement. They now have a chance to test it out and see if their vertical is a fit.



Next steps

As with most Google releases these days, I recommend approaching Google TV ads with a bit of cautious curiosity. If you’re looking to increase top-of-funnel activity within a familiar ads interface, this seems like a good option to test – but make sure you’re doing it with a clear goal and way to measure effectiveness. If you have any questions on what we’re seeing in our clients’ Google TV campaigns, give us a shout!


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