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Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Big-name advertisers are continuing to pull their ads from YouTube as the company scrambles to regulate the controversial content being uploaded to its site. While this crisis is a revenue and branding nightmare for Google, it can be a win for advertisers and competitors like Facebook.

Winners:

  • Facebook: Facebook has been testing mid-roll video ads that will eventually be available for everyone to buy programmatically, the same way YouTube sells video ads. But is that still a good idea? Facebook Live is facing major backlash for extremist content that's being uploaded. Introducing video ads into crowdsourced videos, especially live ones, could pull Facebook into the same mess Google is currently facing. Now, Mark Zuckerberg has time to observe YouTube's travails and tweak his strategy.
  • Advertisers: YouTube's ad crisis could give advertisers leverage for more data and control, Recode reports. Google, which has been called a "walled garden" for keeping its metrics secret, could find itself needing to be more transparent with its advertisers about where their ads are going.
  • Tech competitors: As CNN's Brian Stelter noted earlier this week, a few of the advertisers that were first to pull ads from Google in the U.S., like AT&T and Verizon, are Google's competitors. For AT&T specifically, it's new pay-TV option, DirectTV Now, will be a rival to YouTube's new TV streaming service.

Losers:

  • Ad buyers: Ad buyers are supposed to be responsible for placing advertising next to brand-safe content. While most ad buyers realize that programmatic ad buying through Google has risks, they've been able to avoid pulling Google buys from plans by creating lists of places they won't let their content run, but those lists fail to catch all offensive content. With heightened awareness around Google's problems, ad buyers are going to have a tougher time convincing their clients to run on YouTube, even if the return on investment is high.
  • Alphabet: Share in Google's parent company fell after the ad crisis reached the U.S. last week; though it's unknown how big a revenue hit Google is taking and some analysts say the crisis will have no lasting impact.
  • Youtube: On Friday, WSJ reporter Jack Nicas spotted a pre-roll ad for YouTube Red (YouTube's subscription service) alongside explicit content. And last week, Axios' Ina Fried highlighted how YouTube is being slammed by advertisers pulling ads from YouTube for not being restrictive enough in weeding out extremist content, while LGTBQ advocates are criticizing the video platform for restricting non-salacious LGTBQ content from its restricted platform.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 31 seconds ago - Politics & Policy

Trump social media group raises $1 billion from undisclosed investors

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Donald Trump's social media startup on Saturday announced that it secured $1 billion in new investment as part of its ongoing efforts to become publicly traded via a blank check company.

Between the lines: None of the investors were identified, which is highly unusual for this sort of transaction.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

Massage, facial, pedicure... intravenous drip?

A salon on the Upper East Side of New York that offers IV drip therapies. Photo: Jennifer A. Kingson/Axios

IV drips — the kind you might get if you're rushed to the hospital — are trending as a spa treatment, thanks in part to endorsements by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Madonna.

Why it matters: Like other "wellness" trends with a whiff of medical imprimatur, IV nutrient drips can be harmless or mildly restorative — or go awry, particularly in the wrong hands.

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.