Google Launches Partner Select, A Programmatic Video Ad Marketplace For Premium Content

The market for online video ads continues to grow rapidly as more advertisers shift their spending from TV to the web. Google unsurprisingly wants to own its share of this market. In order to court large brands who want to buy against premium online video content, the company today announced the launch of its own programmatic ad exchange for video ads under the name Google Partner Select.

Google argues that while publishers invest in premium, high-quality video content, this content isn’t always easy to access for advertisers. “Our brands and agencies want to buy this premium content programmatically, but have difficulty finding the high quality inventory they want,” Google’s VP of display and video advertising products Neal Mohan writes in a blog post today. Almost by default, Google’s customers also want to buy their ads programmatically and spread their investment across multiple publishers while many content providers tend to sell directly to the brands that want to advertise around their content.

“In the TV world, you can buy millions of dollars of advertising with not much more than a handshake,” Mohan noted at Google’s DoubleClick partner conference today. “Online, it’s not that easy.”

Google is clearly aware of the focus on direct buying in the video ad world. As a part of Partner Select, the company is giving marketers and publishers the ability to also make direct, reservation-based sales through its platform. Google says this will simplify the buying process, which today can often include “days of back-and-forth negotiations, dozens of phone calls and sometimes, yes, a fax machine.”

Google’s own YouTube platform already launched a similar program with Google Preferred earlier this year, which also allows advertisers to target the top 5 percent of content producers on YouTube. Partner Select essentially expands this idea to the rest of the web.

Google, of course, isn’t the only company chasing after this growing market. TechCrunch parent company AOL, for example, acquired video ad exchange for $405 million last year in what was then its biggest deal since Tim Armstrong became CEO in 2009. Other players in this market include the likes of Tremor Video and TubeMogul, which recently filed for an IPO.