PALO ALTO, CA: It's ten years since Google bought YouTube, but only now is the internet giant enabling the video-sharing site to use its vast trove of consumer data for ad targeting purposes.

"Information from activity associated with users' Google accounts (such as demographic information and past searches) may be used to influence the ads those users see on YouTube," Diya Jolly, Director, YouTube Product Management, stated in a blog post.

"So, for example, if you're a retailer, you could reach potential customers that have been searching for winter coat deals on Google and engage with them with your own winter clothing brand campaign at just the right moment," she explained.

Jolly added that the video site was also creating new ways for advertisers to use their customer data to reach their highest-value customers on YouTube, using its Customer Match option.

"For example, that same retail advertiser could reach customers that signed up to receive special offers in their stores," she said.

The move has been dictated in part by the shift of YouTube viewership away from desktop, with the need to make it easier for advertisers to deliver more relevant, useful ads across screens.

At the same time, YouTube announced it would be limiting the use of cookies and pixels on YouTube, since these were designed for single screen and fail to take account of the ways in which users increasingly watch content on YouTube, like on the mobile app or in the living room.

Allied to that is the development of a proprietary measurement system – to be called Ads Data Hub, according to AdExchanger – which will inform advertisers on how their YouTube campaigns are performing.

Initial opinion on this was divided, with one anonymous agency executive saying "It amounts to using DoubleClick as a shared DMP. The intent is to sell more inventory, not to improve advertiser performance".

But Matt Tepper, chief strategy officer for Wunderman North America, saw it differently. "It's nice to see Google starting to build solutions that will drive the future of marketing," he said.

Data sourced from Google, AdExchanger; additional content by Warc staff