Google Preferred is a YouTube program that allows advertisers to pay to place their ads on high-performing videos on the site.[1] The program divides YouTube's most popular channels among 18- to 34-year-olds, comprising the most popular 5% of content on the site, into twelve categories.[2] Its purpose is to signal advertisers that they can trust a given channel in the program to produce high-quality content.[3]


Google Preferred was announced at Google's 2014 Brandcast on April 30 in response to complaints from marketers that it was difficult to reach top-tier channels.[4] It was also introduced in an attempt by YouTube to increase artificial scarcity and ad revenue.[5][6]

In March 2015, after Google Preferred proved highly successful in its first year, YouTube decided to keep using Google Preferred.[7] They implemented some minor changes to the program, however, such as reducing the number of categories from fourteen to twelve[which?].[8] The program was also expanded to include other countries besides the United States, including Canada.[9]

In January 2018, stricter requirements were set, under which videos eligible for the program would be "manually curated", and only videos that meet YouTube's guidelines for advertiser-friendly content would be eligible.[10] The changes came in the wake of controversies affecting YouTube's advertising platform in 2017, including the appearance of ads on content deemed objectionable to advertisers, as well as a recent controversy surrounding Logan Paul's "suicide forest" video (which caused him to be removed from the program).[11][12]

In August 2018, a report was published on fake video views which contributed to the concerns around YouTube's reputation and the need for a more advertiser-friendly product.[13] In May 2020, Google Preferred was rebranded as "YouTube Select" and phased out by the end of 2020.[14]


  1. ^ Whateley, Dan. "Inside YouTube's secretive Google Preferred program, which can boost a creator's income and signal they've 'made it'". Business Insider. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  2. ^ "Google Preferred". Think with Google. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  3. ^ Etherington, Darrell (2018-01-10). "YouTube drops Logan Paul from Google Preferred and puts his Originals on hold". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  4. ^ Wallenstein, Andrew (2014-04-30). "YouTube Unveils Google Preferred at NewFronts Event". Variety. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  5. ^ "Google Preferred Is The Star Of YouTube's 2014 Brandcast". Tubefilter. 2014-05-01. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  6. ^ Luckerson, Victor (2014-05-01). "YouTube Is Gunning Hard for New Advertisers". Time. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  7. ^ "Vidilot - This Is Why YouTube Paid Promotion Is So Famous!". Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  8. ^ Peterson, Tim (2015-03-26). "YouTube Is Recycling Last Year's NewFronts Pitch -- Because It Worked". AdAge. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  9. ^ "YouTube: Nearly 10% Of Google Preferred Viewers Don't Watch TV". Tubefilter. 2015-04-21. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  10. ^ Spangler, Todd (2018-01-16). "YouTube Sets Stricter Requirements for Creator Partners in Response to Advertiser Concerns". Variety. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  11. ^ Spangler, Todd (16 January 2018). "YouTube Sets Stricter Requirements for Creator Partners in Response to Advertiser Concerns". Variety. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  12. ^ Brockington, Ariana (2018-01-11). "YouTube Cuts Logan Paul from Preferred Program Over Controversial Video". Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  13. ^ "The New York Times: Digital and Home Delivery Subscriptions". Retrieved 2022-04-18.
  14. ^ "YouTube is relaunching its premium ad offering as YouTube Select". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2022-04-18.