YouTube: “Viewers leaving behind traditional primetime”

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In December 2020, over 120 million people in the US streamed YouTube to their TV screens, according to a blog post from Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer at YouTube.

Furthermore, eMarketer projects that more than 106 million US households will watch streaming content in 2021, eclipsing pay-TV.

“Viewers are leaving behind traditional primetime, and we’re finding at YouTube that the new primetime is personal. People want the freedom to stream anything whenever they want, whether it’s a favourite movie, a hard-to-find music performance, a premiere sports event, or even a tough workout,” commented Mohan.

“Viewers are also increasingly streaming content on their connected TV screens as they spend more time at home. In fact, though mobile still makes up the largest percentage of how content is consumed on the platform, our fastest growing viewing experience is on the TV screen. Last December, over 120 million people in the U.S. streamed YouTube or YouTube TV on their TV screens. And there’s another interesting viewing behaviour emerging. A new generation of viewers chooses to watch YouTube primarily on the TV screen: Also in December, over a quarter of logged-in YouTube CTV viewers in the U.S. watched content almost exclusively on the TV screen,” added Mohan.

On the subject of advertising, Mohan said: “For advertisers, the move to streaming on TV screens brings both challenges and opportunities. Some challenges, like planning what to buy and measuring impact, aren’t exactly new. Solutions are being developed to address these issues and have already broken new ground. For example, for the first time ever this 2021/2022 upfront season in the US, advertisers will be able to measure their YouTube CTV campaigns with Nielsen. As for opportunities, streaming gives advertisers more places to reach those customers who have been abandoning TV for streaming platforms, including hard-to-reach viewers. And while much has been made about the complexity and fragmentation of audiences, the number of ad-supported platforms with scale is actually pretty small. According to Comscore, 82.5 per cent of CTV reach in the US falls on only five streaming services: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney+, but only two sell ads. 41 per cent of all ad-supported streaming watch time in the US happens on YouTube. All of this makes clear how CTV has opened a significant new chapter for video on YouTube and beyond.”

The blog post adds that 70 per cent of YouTube viewers say that have bought a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube.


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