It has not been a good week for Google lately. This week, major advertisers are pulling their products from appearing in Youtube over the issue of their ads appearing alongside undesirable content posted in the video-sharing platform.
Last Monday, Google apologized to ad clients for the video content fiasco, but that did not seem to stop the defections. By Friday, Starbucks, PepsiCo, and General Motors among others say they are suspending Google non-search ads. This follows several other companies such as AT&T, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, Volkswagen and many others which have either pulled or suspended their ads earlier this week.
Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006, in what was seen by many as a risky investment. Since then YouTube has become the leading site for online video, and one of most visited sites on the internet alongside Google and Facebook. From professionally produced content to vapid home videos, the site runs the gamut of shared videos online.
YouTube now has over a billion users, almost one-third of all people on the Internet, and 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute, making the task of moderating ad placements daunting, near impossible from sheer volume of uploads alone.
In fairness to Google, the company seem to be addressing the issue directly, and is implementing new changes this week, including a new video verification process. Some might remember, Facebook also had it’s fixes and update on metrics and reporting late last year.
Advertising is one of the core businesses for Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company. Although a potential headache for Google, YouTube ads represents only a small fraction of Alphabet revenue. Last October, Susan Wojcicki, Youtube CEO said the video site is still in investment mode.