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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The world’s biggest tech companies have found a new way for marketers to buy video ads that won’t show up next to shady user-generated content.

Why it matters: For a while, advertisers shifted digital budgets away from more expensive ads on premium publisher websites and TV, to cheaper ads at scale on tech platforms, because it was efficient, but that strategy is changing in response to problems posed by running ads against unvetted user-generated content.

What it looks like: Companies like YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter are all building virtual fences around premium video content, and allowing advertisers to target ads solely against vetted material, most created by media publishers.

  • Tech platforms are charging advertisers more to run ads within pools of vetted videos. Advertisers, in turn, can be assured that their ads don't run against things like terrorist content or hate speech.
  • Twitter's Head of Global Client Solutions Sarah Personette told Axios earlier this month at an Axios Media Trends event that the company has rolled out solutions for advertisers to reach audiences at scale, while remaining around vetted premium content. "If advertisers want to reach a Latin audience and get in front of only Univision content, they can do it," she said.
  • Snapchat was pitching a new ad-buying product called Snap Select at Cannes last week, Digiday's Kerry Flynn reports. "The product lets advertisers buy ads exclusively in Snap’s premium content, as in its shows and vetted publishing partners, rather than between content from Snap users."
  • Facebook this year debuted "Showcase," an ad-buying program that allows advertisers to buy ads only around premium video content from publishers in its "Watch" video tab.
  • YouTube is becoming more attractive to ad agencies, which have begun creating their own lists of pre-approved, premium content for advertisers to place ads around, Digiday's Lucinda Southern reports. YouTube has also added more videos to its "Google Preferred" program, which allows advertisers to buy video ad packages around premium content.

Be smart: The big complaint about buying ads this way is that they mimic the buying strategy of television. Advertisers can choose a show, channel or content type to run their ads around, but they can't always target ads by user.

The bottom line: Platforms can fund all the original content that they want, but it will be very hard to scale these types of opportunities without licensing content from publishers.

  • This has begun to improve the market dynamic between tech companies and media companies from where it was a few years ago, when platforms made money off users sharing publisher content that they didn't have to license.

Go deeper: Advertisers want to mine your brain

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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