A new YouTube ad format: sponsored cards

Earlier this week, YouTube quietly rolled out a new ad format for creators: sponsored cards. (This new feature may not yet be available to every creator, so if you don’t see it on your YouTube account yet, hang tight.) According to YouTube Help:

Sponsored cards display content that may be relevant to your video, such as products featured in the video.

Viewers will see a teaser for the card for a few seconds. They can also click the icon in the top right corner of the video to browse the cards.

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You don’t need to take any action to reap the benefits of sponsored cards: YouTube will automatically enable sponsored cards on all your monetized videos. So once advertisers start to promote their products via sponsored cards, you’ll start earning ad income.

What sponsored cards mean for creators

Sponsored cards are:

  • A new source of income: Who doesn’t like more money? With this new ad format, you’ll earn additional income from the sponsored cards that display on your videos.
  • Relevant: YouTube claims that the sponsored cards that appear on your videos will be relevant to your content (for example, products that may be featured in your videos). The more relevant the ads, the higher chance your viewers will click on them.
  • Mobile friendly: Just like YouTube’s recent cards feature (which lets you direct viewers to destinations of your choice), sponsored cards are mobile friendly. So they’ll reach the growing legions of viewers who watch YouTube on mobile devices.

What we don’t know yet

As with any new YouTube ad format, a few things about sponsored cards aren’t clear yet: for example, which videos these ads will display on, how you can increase your chances at getting them, and how much you’ll earn. As sponsored cards roll out, you’ll be able to track their performance in your YouTube Analytics. Stay tuned!