Video marketers have been buying ad slots from online video platforms for a while, but Google Inc. is now taking a leap into this space with its own ad marketplace.

On Wednesday, the search powerhouse announced it was launching Google Partner Select, a programmatic ad exchange that sells inventory to marketers. Typically, the way this works is that marketers can bid on spots to run their ads, just before an online video begins playing.

Marketers bid on these spots in real-time, and they can choose to bid only on viewers that fall within the demographic they want to reach. As web advertising becomes more and more targeted, programmatic buying has become an increasingly attractive way to reach potential customers, compared to buying ad slots on TV, which can be expensive and doesn’t allow for nearly as much targeting.

Still, Google isn’t the only company to have an ad exchange. In August 2013, AOL Corp. acquired programmatic advertising platform Adap.TV, and there are other, smaller ad exchanges out there like BrightRoll and TubeMogul. So Google is hoping it can differentiate itself from other ad exchanges by providing marketers with access to “premium content.”

“Our brands and agencies want to buy this premium content programmatically, but have difficulty finding the high quality inventory they want. Our publisher partners also want to take advantage of the ease and efficiency of programmatic to connect with top brands, but with transparency and control over how that happens,” said Neal Mohan, Google’s vice-president of display and video advertising products, in a blog post.

“In order to grow the marketplace for everyone, we need to invest in the systems that will make it easier for brands and premium publishers to transact at scale.”

And while Mohan didn’t name Google’s “premium publishers” in his post, the search giant seems to be aiming to get content from TV networks that post video online, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.

The company made a similar play in April, when it launched Google Preferred under YouTube, one of its subsidiaries. The service was also designed to give marketers access to the best content on the video platform, plus the ability to measure videos’ performance.

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