If you browse YouTube to take in the visceral spectacle of music videos or just like to cruise control through randomly autoplaying tunes, you may come across more sensical commercials than in times before. Marketers are getting beta access to two new ad verticals right now which focus on audio, not video.

Audio-only ads are the prime product that may play when a user isn't actively engaging with their YouTube device — it'll most likely be a smart display, Google TV, or Cast-able display. Visually, it might be a still frame or simple animation with the actual payload left to the soundtrack. It would definitely be more sensical than the typical 5-second visual sting of explosions and innuendo in that consumption experience.

Ads of up to 30 seconds will be fed to listeners/viewers via CPM-based auctions as with other existing ad formats. Google says that it was able to drive brand awareness by up to 75% when testing audio ads. The alpha-phase Shutterfly campaign above notched a recall differential of +14%.

Audio ads are widely available right now. So, if you consume YouTube like YouTube Music — free users already listen to purely audio ads — Spotify or even the radio, well, you know what to expect.

The second vertical is dynamic music lineups where sponsors can curate groups of music-focused channels based on artists, genres, or mood stations. This format builds upon the existing dynamic lineups where ads can be placed for non-music videos related to one's business.

Dynamic music lineups are available in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • United Kingdom
  • United States