SALT LAKE CITY — As online advertising in general, and digital video advertising in specific, continue to gobble up market share, YouTube announced a new program Tuesday that's likely to make it even easier for businesses to expand their outreach via the world of 0's and 1's.
YouTube's new "YouTube Director" service offers start-to-finish production services for a 30-second video advertisement that includes help with planning/scripting the piece, an on-site professional video shoot, editing and consultation on ad placement strategy.
In a Tuesday blog post, YouTube group product manager Nick Rettke noted that typical costs for a half-minute ad can run $1,000 to $5,000, but YouTube is offering the Director services for free, albeit with one caveat. Businesses that utilize the service must commit to spending $350 on ad placements, following completion of their project.
Rettke said the service launched in 170 U.S. cities on Tuesday, including Salt Lake City, and that the program's low entry cost should create new opportunities, particularly for small businesses, to engage the world of video-based advertising.
"Every small-business owner has a story to tell — whether it's how they started out, why their product or service is unique, or why customers buy from them," Rettke said. "Video ads are an authentic and engaging way to reach your customers and show them what makes your business unique through the power of sight, sound and motion."
U.S. digital advertising revenues have recently surpassed those generated by all other advertising methods and in 2017 brought in an estimated $83 billion, according to digital advertising site, eMarketer. And YouTube parent company Google owns the lion's share of that take, with some $35 billion in ad sales. While Google does not offer easy to distill revenue divisions in its reporting, YouTube is estimated to have generated about $3.8 billion of those revenues in 2017.
Video advertising has been a boon for numerous Utah companies, including Alpine-based Purple. The company, which specializes in high-tech mattresses, pillows and other comfort products, leveraged a 2016 Goldilocks-themed video to highlight unique characteristics of its "hyper-elastic polymer with buckling columns" material in a way that potential customers could understand. The video has earned over 150 million views and last year, Purple CEO Sam Bernards told the Deseret News the outreach helped ramp up demand beyond anyone's expectations.
"We thought the demand flow was, metaphorically, the size of a drinking straw, but we were scaling things to be more like a fire hose," Bernards said. "The reality, however, was the demand was more like a river, and we struggled to keep up with it."
Bernards has since left the company, but New York City-based Global Partner Acquisition Corp. merged with Purple in a $1.1 billion deal last July.
Click here for more information on the YouTube Director program.