Behind the scenes, YouTube is working to make it possible for more advertisers to purchase commercials on YouTube Shorts—and only on Shorts.

AdExchanger was able to establish from three sources that a pilot program has been in an alpha testing phase for the previous few months, involving a number of tech suppliers and companies. All three sources work at Google Premier Partner companies and have firsthand knowledge of the program.

During its springtime NewFront event, YouTube unveiled additional ad options for Shorts, including the ability to place advertisements in between the most popular Shorts. However, sources claim that this product suite’s ability to target only Shorts inventory is a more recent innovation that was made available for testing over the summer.

The pilot’s goal is to assist marketers in targeting advertisements on YouTube Shorts in particular.

Platforms frequently use this strategy to deny marketers control over certain placements, particularly for more recent formats that have not yet achieved widespread adoption.

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The inability of buyers to distinguish Shorts from the rest of their YouTube video ad purchases has angered them. Currently, the majority of marketers are limited to purchasing Shorts inventory through discovery or reach extension campaigns in bundles with other YouTube advertising. These consumers have no means of knowing if their advertisements are displayed on a mobile, PC, or TV that is linked.

According to a source who spoke with AdExchanger, YouTube hasn’t made public its new alpha program for purchasing advertisements on Shorts because it needs to reach a specific scale first.

It is obvious that reaching scale for Shorts is important.

In a podcast conversation with artists last month, YouTube CEO Neal Mohan stated that the platform “really still [is] in the very early days of Shorts monetization.”

However, Mohan continued, “Shorts usage has grown enough to support more monetization efforts.”

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According to Mohan, the number of daily views for shorts has increased from 50 billion in January to over 70 billion currently.

How does the new program operate then?

AdExchanger was informed by sources that advertisers can target advertising on Shorts using basic age/gender demos and geolocation by gaining access through a YouTube partner.

Buyers can also choose to target Shorts advertising according to a certain content category, like culinary or gaming. However, one source stated that targeting based on particular channels or videos is not yet accessible.

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Brands look at view-through rates, frequency, and reach when it comes to measuring. As long as a user sees an advertisement for ten seconds or more, it counts as a view.

Third-party suppliers offer brand safety verification, and purchasers can carry out Google brand lift tests.

From the buy side, there seems to be optimism regarding the initiative.

According to one source, YouTube Shorts can be a useful tool for marketers looking to reach a larger and more precise portion of their target audience due to the increased alternatives for ad purchase.


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