28th April 2023

POV: YouTube AI-Powered Music Ad Solutions


YouTube is set to launch two new AI-powered music ad solutions aimed at helping advertisers connect with Gen Z audiences.

Details and Implications:

YouTube announced the new offerings just after this year’s Coachella Festival, the start of the music festival season. In a pitch to lay claim to being ‘the ultimate destination for content during festival season’, YouTube says that GenZ ‘come to the platform to share and engage with videos ranging from performance highlights to outfit inspiration, vlogs and more.’

YouTube says there are now over 100 million songs in the YouTube Music catalogue globally with localized versions of YouTube in over 100 countries and 80 languages.

In a blog post, featuring research from TalkShoppe, YouTube revealed that Gen Z viewers aged 18-24 tend to split their viewing time across different video formats, with no more than 22% of their viewing time spent on a single format. This therefore creates a challenge for advertisers wanted to effectively connect with this demographic.

YouTube’s two new offerings are therefore aimed to provide a response to this challenge.

The first new feature called ‘Gen Z Music’ will use AI to identify the songs trending among Gen Z users across YouTube. It will be available for long-form and audio formats, enabling brands to show up alongside the latest trending music clips resonating with Gen Z. YouTube cited an example that it said might surprise most brands, that classic hits by Cyndi Lauper and underground music from the latest soon-to-be superstars are popular with Gen Z on YouTube, aside from the more obvious popular music artists like Band Bunny and Rosalía.

‘Trending Music on Shorts’ is the other new ad placement feature that will be piloting soon. It will, again with the help of AI, strategically place ads within popular, music-themed Shorts videos. This feature is intended to help brands leverage YouTube’s TikTok-like short form video feature, Shorts which launched in September 2020 and which YouTube now says has ‘over 1.5 billion monthly logged-in users and over 50bn daily views.’


YouTube has been using AI to suggest videos to users for quite some time. However, the new ad functionalities are being introduced to bolster its stance as a comprehensive music platform and to give advertisers more intelligent tools to use music as a means of connecting with a younger audience.

Further Reading:

The Drum | Social Media Today | Search Engine Journal | Google Blog

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