Early assessments of ads on YouTube Shorts reveal a cost advantage of approximately 50% compared to TikTok ads, coupled with extended viewing durations, as highlighted in a recent case study by video ad agency Precise.TV. Conducting the study in collaboration with brands like sneaker manufacturer Asics and Moose Toys, among others, the agency participated in an exclusive experiment facilitated by YouTube. This initiative enabled select brands to exclusively target video campaigns to Shorts, introducing a novel approach to channel engagement.

Exclusive Shorts-only ad campaigns provided brands with a distinct opportunity to evaluate the platform’s performance independently, excluding results from campaigns on other segments of YouTube. Advertisers shared with Ad Age that these tests enabled a direct comparison of YouTube Shorts ads, assessing both cost and viewership metrics against TikTok. 

The tests revealed that YouTube Shorts ads are 46% more cost-effective than TikTok, as Denis Crushell, Chief Commercial Officer at Precise.TV, noted. According to advertisers sharing insights with Ad Age, TikTok ads typically cost around $8 per thousand views (CPMs), while Shorts ads average approximately $4. It’s important to acknowledge that these prices may change as more advertisers explore Shorts and the platform evolves.

YouTube offers advertisers the flexibility to set campaigns to count a view only when a consumer watches for at least 10 seconds, unlike TikTok, where advertisers pay once a view hits six seconds. The extended view length on YouTube Shorts was considered a valuable bonus, according to Crushell.

The exclusive Shorts-only test served as a comprehensive evaluation of the platform, enabling advertisers to compare it with other social media competitors. Additionally, Google introduced a groundbreaking feature, allowing video ad buyers to isolate Shorts from larger platform-wide purchases. While Google typically recommends using its advertising AI for ad placement decisions, some agencies, including Precise.TV, advocate for offering brands greater control over their ad purchases, sparking a debate within the advertising industry about the extent to which control should be relinquished to platforms.

The tests revealed that YouTube Shorts ads are 46% more cost-effective than TikTok, as Denis Crushell, Chief Commercial Officer at Precise.TV, noted. According to advertisers sharing insights with Ad Age, TikTok ads typically cost around $8 per thousand views (CPMs), while Shorts ads average approximately $4. It’s important to acknowledge that these prices may change as more advertisers explore Shorts and the platform evolves.

YouTube offers advertisers the flexibility to set campaigns to count a view only when a consumer watches for at least 10 seconds, unlike TikTok, where advertisers pay once a view hits six seconds. The extended view length on YouTube Shorts was considered a valuable bonus, according to Crushell.

The exclusive Shorts-only test served as a comprehensive evaluation of the platform, enabling advertisers to compare it with other social media competitors. Additionally, Google introduced a groundbreaking feature, allowing video ad buyers to isolate Shorts from larger platform-wide purchases. While Google typically recommends using its advertising AI for ad placement decisions, some agencies, including Precise.TV, advocate for offering brands greater control over their ad purchases, sparking a debate within the advertising industry about the extent to which control should be relinquished to platforms. 

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