YouTube’s Brand-Sponsored Video Rules Hit New Levels

touchscreen interface

YouTube is prohibiting the use of brand features by its video creators unless the sponsor is willing to sign up for an advertising package with Google.

The video site has a number of video creators who work directly with brands. Now, however, the company has decided to alter its ad policies in order to tighten its rules on this type of brand-sponsored videos.

With these new policy changes, video creators will no longer be able to have overlays of sponsor logos and branded products without the sponsor paying Google to advertise there. Google wants these brands to depend on Google instead of using independent video creators.

There is of course not a lot of enthusiasm from video creators about these changes. While YouTube are describing this change as an amendment of existing policy, others are saying that it is a clear change which affects the way popular YouTubers and larger channels have been using the network. No longer can they boost their rating by featuring popular brands without having to share some of their profits with Google.

In similar policy changes, YouTube has introduced “product card” that allows brands to insert a six second advertisement or endorsement that will appear before their own video. Video creators can avail of this new feature as part of standard media packages.

Ordinarily, YouTube video creators generate revenue by working with external brands to feature their products in their videos. YouTube’s new policies do not allow this type of brand integration anymore unless the producer purchases a media package, giving a portion of their revenue to Google.

With publishers being left with little option other than to invest in media packages in order to feature sponsored video content, YouTube will receive a large proportion, 45% in most cases, of revenue.

Video Sharing

Mobile Video Sharing in the Spotlight at Twitter’s Q4 2014 Earnings call

“Good day, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Twitter Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call”. The attention of some of Twitter’s leading members along with many conference call participants, was grabbed with these words which signified the beginning of CEO Dick Costolo’s Q4 2014 Results-Earnings call. Also in attendance were Krista Bessinger, Senior Director, Investor Relations and Anthony Noto, CFO.

During Twitter’s Q3 earnings call and again at their Analyst day, among the three main features discussed was the creation of an ecosystem of new applications and services, perhaps such as an app marketplace, and the instruction of better media creation and consumption. In Q4 Twitter launched and began testing ideas in native mobile video. Costolo commented that he believes video and mobile video sharing will reach the same scale of creation and consumption as photos.

Twitter’s first encounter with video was with Vine. This process of creating and sharing short videos remains very popular with Twitter users, with over 1.5 billion Vine loops each day.

The company have also been using publishers and advertisers to bring videos to the site in recent months. Expansion efforts into SMB media channels are continuing to pay off, with a growth rate continuously outperforming overall growth of their own ad business.

The social network’s video findings show us just how popular videos are with its users. The most recent addition to its media strategy was the introduction of native mobile video to all Twitter users. With this addition, users can now capture, edit and share videos right within the Twitter app. The goal is to make native mobile video fast and easy.

We will no doubt be seeing continuous investment by Twitter on the mobile video front, with CEO Costolo stating that he will personally be investing a good deal of time in this area.

Mobile Video Sharing

snapchat-discover IMAGE

Snapchat Discover


    Snapchat, once a whimsical photo-sharing app, appears to be transitioning into a go-to destination for news and entertainment. Last weeks introduction of Discover has signified that companies are targeting the social media niche, exposing its users to highlighted news stories day-to-day.

In true Snapchat fashion, these stories are viewable as many times as the user wishes for 24 hours. The 11 lucky companies to be chosen for this new feature are CNN, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, ESPN, Food Network, National Geographic, People, Vice, Yahoo News and Warner Music Group. Every day these companies select highlights to show to Snapchat users. After 24 hours their videos expire, prompting them to consistently provide their audience with up-to-date news and entertainment.

This advance is breaking into a previously somewhat untapped market for these companies. The Snapchat user wants quick, current and entertaining stories. Discover reaches an audience who may not keep up with their other news outlets, and does so in a fun and quirky way.

                      snapchat-discover IMAGE


Spotify Introduces Video ads

Finally, our two favourite things are merging, music and video ads. Spotify announced an addition to their advertising product this week. Here’s all you need to know:

Spotify have a user base of about 40 million active users. 30 million are non-paying users and the remaining 10 million are Spotify premium users. Currently advertisers can choose from the following ad specs: Audio Ads, Display Ads, Billboard Ads, Homepage Takeovers, Branded Playlists, Lightbox and Advertiser Pages. Users spend an average of 146 minutes listening on Spotify everyday. In the last year, Spotify mobile users have tripled.


Spotify mobile growth

How will Spotify video ads work?

There will be two video ad units available to advertisers.

Sponsored sessions
This feature allows users to watch a video advertisement in exchange for 30 minutes of uninterrupted ‘ad-free’ music.


  • Offer your audience uninterrupted listening in exchange for a video view
  • Currently available on mobile only
  • Users are served an offer for 30 minutes of ad-free listening via a title card
  • User must complete 15 or 30 second video spot to receive reward
  • All video impressions are user-initiated
  • Only completed views are billed
  • Branded end card invites further engagement

Spotify mobile ads example

Video takeover
This is similar to the current Spotify advertisements in that it will interrupt the listening experience and play the video ad as opposed to the existing audio offering.


  • 15 or 30 second video spot with companion display unit
  • Served during commercial ad breaks between songs in a music session
  • Currently available on desktop only
  • 100% share of voice
  • 100% viewable: video only served if desktop app is in view
  • Only completed views are billed
  • Companion display unit invites further engagement

Who are the advertisers?

Similar to Instagram, Spotify have selected a small number of brands to test the video ads. They include Coca-Cola, Ford, McDonalds, NBC Universal Pictures, Target and Wells Fargo. Most of these brands are already advertising with Spotify.


The new video ads will only be available in the following markets in Q4 on this year: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain and Sweden. They will be available globally in 2015.


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Mystery lady

3 Quick Tips for Using Video in Your Email Marketing

What’s a better way to communicate with your customers than video?  Pair your video with a great email campaign and you’re on to a winner. Here we’ll share some quick tips on effectively incorporating video into your email marketing campaign.

1. Segment your list based on email client 

All of your customer will not necessarily have the same email client, segment your customer email list to reflect this.

Embedded Video Support



2. Work around video support on email clients

To overcome the lack of video support on some email clients – do the following:

Put an image into your email that indicates that there is a video included. Have the image linking to your video, so when the image is clicked your video will pop up – see example below:

Online video content








3. Subject line

Including video in the subject line of your email is proven to significantly increase open rates. Also consider putting in your most recent offer, this will inspire further interest. For some tips on subject lines, this post by Hubspot is helpful.

If you don’t have a video ad already, get started with Viddyad now and create your video ad in just a few minutes.

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