YouTube reaches more young people than commercial TV, claims study
James R | On 18, Jun 2016
YouTube reaches more young people than any commercial TV channel, claims one new study.
The research, commissioned by the video site, was run by Comsore and uses ratings data from BARB and findings from a YouGov survey. It found that in the first quarter of 2016, YouTube reached more of those aged 18 to 34 via mobile devices than any commercial TV channel in the UK
YouTube is also in living rooms too, with YouGov’s poll finding that half of those aged between 18 and 34 have watched YouTube via a TV. Which would they chose out of TV and YouTube? 41 per cent chose the streaming site, ahead of the 27 per cent picking TV.
That’s partly down to the shifting behaviour among younger viewers, who naturally to watch things online rather than traditional telly. Indeed, 43 per cent of respondents said they watch their favourite shows on-demand, compared to 21 per cent opting for linear broadcasts.
But more importantly, perhaps, is the fact that younger audiences relate more to YouTube than old-school TV: 59 per cent of millennials said they were more likely to find content about the things they’re passionate about via YouTube rather than TV.
Chris Binns of Mediacom commented in a statement: “We are at a digital tipping point, as monthly mobile reach on YouTube amongst this group is higher than on any commercial TV channel. This data and the follow up YouGov research corroborates a view I have long held – that increasingly YouTube is the place that people go to follow their true passions.
“This insight from the research is very important. It illustrates how crucial it is for agencies to think in terms of types of content that their target audience are passionate about, rather than just the channel – in terms of the message, rather than merely the medium. This research will make a lot of media agency planners sit up and take notice and adds useful, robust data to the debate about where brands looking to reach young people can best focus their spend.”
It will come as no surprise that YouTube is releasing the research as part of its ongoing push to convince advertisers to spend money with them, but it does highlight the growth of the site in the last 10 years. More than 190 YouTube channels in the UK now have over 1 million subscribers, with over 50 per cent more UK channels boasting 1 billion subscribers than this time last year.
While the survey focuses on commercial channels, though, it is worth noting that in the public service broadcaster arena, the traditional giant of telly that is the BBC has already launched BBC Three as an online-only channel, which posts half of its content on-demand via BBC iPlayer and the other half on YouTube, only emphasising how blurred the boundaries have become between ‘new’ and ‘old’ media. Commercial broadcasters such as UKTV and Channel 4 and Channel 5, meanwhile, also have their own advertising options for their streaming platforms; the choice is far more complex than simply ‘YouTube or TV’.
“It is not new news that YouTube is popular with young people. So is TV. But TV and YouTube fulfil different roles in their lives. In real life they happily co-exist; any disharmony exists solely in YouTube’s press releases,”
Lindsey Clay, Chief Executive of Thinkbox, told The Drum.
““YouTube’s latest claim is obviously for the benefit of advertisers, but what about the advertising opportunity? 0.6% of video advertising is seen on YouTube; 94% is seen on TV, in full and with sound. And claiming YouTube on mobile reaches more young people than an individual commercial TV channel may be true, but it is hardly a like-for-like comparison. It ignores the fact that they spend vast amounts more time with TV. And it ignores the fact that TV advertisers buy TV audiences, not a TV audience on a specific channel. As for its claim that people go to YouTube for content they’re passionate about – yes, of course they do. It’s good at that. And TV is often the source of what people passionately want to watch on YouTube.”