Many business owners and marketers use YouTube as a platform for sharing their marketing videos and advertisements. It’s a great way for advertisers to get their videos and ads seen by a large number of people without paying for expense ad slots on TV channels. In 2019, this tactic will become even more useful for marketers, since they will be able to target TV screens by default in YouTube ad campaigns and get detailed reports on the results in 2019.

As Google explained in blog post announcing the upcoming change, “Starting on Jan 8, 2019 you will be able to target and generate reports for a new device category via the AdWords API – connected TV. The connected TV platform, (or “TV screens,” as it’s referred to in the new Google Ads experience), is a new Platform type similar to desktop, tablet, and mobile. It targets devices such as smart TVs, gaming consoles and standalone connected devices including Chromecast, Roku, and AppleTV.”

Most YouTube video views still happen on mobile devices, but there is also a sizeable percentage of users who watch YouTube on television, either by using a smart TV, a gaming console or a video streaming device. The amount of people watching on a connected TV is nothing to ignore. According to Google’s internal data from mid 2018, users watch more than 180 million hours of YouTube on TV screens every day. That creates many opportunities for advertisers to place ads in front of their target audience.

Being able to target TV screens by default is perfect for business owners and marketers who want to use YouTube advertising as a substitute for traditional TV commercials. If a video advertisement was made with the intention of showing it on TV screens, it may be less effective when shrunk down to mobile size. By defining which types of devices see the video ad, advertisers can ensure that their target consumers are seeing the video advertisement in the best possible environment.

Targeting TV screens can also be beneficial for ensuring people are actually watching the ads that are shown. If someone is watching YouTube videos on a TV screen, then they are probably sitting down in one place watching the screen. It’s not like a computer where a video could be playing in a different tab. Similarly, people on mobile devices are often multi-tasking, so there’s a chance that they aren’t looking at the screen when ads play.

Since the news “TV screens” category is like the device categories for desktop, mobile and tablet, advertisers will be able to use bid modifiers to target or exclude connected TVs from an advertising campaign.

It will also be possible for marketers to segment out connected TVs in their ad reports. Google warns that “even though bidding will only be supported for Display and Video ads, some residual traffic may appear in other kinds of reports so you should still pull the new segment for non Display/Video ad reports”.

This update is part of the rollout of TV screen ads that began earlier this fall. “TV screens” were added as a device type for ad targeting Display & Video 360 in October and for Google Ads in mid-November. This means all YouTube TrueView (for brand awareness, shopping and action) and bumper ad campaigns now automatically target connected TV inventory. Business owners and marketers should check their ad reports to see if they need to adjust their budgets to capture more consumers who are watching from a connected TV.

For more recent news about updates and changes to Google, read this article on the upcoming end to Google+ and its associated API.