By the time you read this, you may well have already seen a lot about Google I/O. A developer centric event, now in its 10th year, it showcases the new and cool imminent product launches, gaining interest from across the advertising industry and tech sector.
As an ex-Google employee – disclosure I have not been to I/O – I can attest that Google is a company with an incredible culture, both as a place of work, but more importantly as a hub of innovation with the consumer at the heart of its plans.
Back in November 2016 Google, came to Manchester and declared themselves an AI first company. So when Sundar Pichai spoke about Google’s shift from ‘mouse and keyboard’ to mobile and now to AI, it came as no great surprise. Google has the scale across hardware, operating system (Android is now at 2 billion devices), applications and customers to continue to drive genuine consumer benefits in everyday life, discovery and healthcare…and it is still growing in a constant state of beta.
Whilst products such as Google Lens, Home and Assistant (including payments) will receive the majority of column inches, it is YouTube which perhaps presents the biggest and immediate opportunity for advertisers.
Google are addressing the recent brand safety challenges and, with the launch of YouTube Go, will allow customers to find and view the best of YouTube (of which there is very good quality) wherever they are. YouTube Go has felt like a long time in coming, but as we see the challenges in the Linear TV model and changes in viewing habits, once ad verification is addressed in a meaningful way, we could well see YouTube, in a future where voice search and AI rule, an environment where brands can speak to potential customers in a more emotional way.