YouTube vs. Tv: Which Is More Engaging?

By: Trevor Keating

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April 6, 2016  |  

People are watching as much digital video as they are television1, according to Adweek. But, where is everyone tuning in on the Interwebs? Nielsen has the answer: as TV watch time declined by 10%2 in 2014, time spent watching YouTube rose 44%3 from viewers ages 18-49.

What’s more, Forrester’s data4 suggests that by 2025, half of all North American viewers under 32 will no longer pay for cable. That’s up from the 35% who’ve already cut the cord5. While the meteoric rise in cord cutters should terrify cable execs, it presents huge opportunities for digital marketers.

REACH VIEWERS WITH TV. ENGAGE WITH THEM ON YOUTUBE.

Many advertisers see television as a way to reach viewers and YouTube as a way to engage with them. Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer, told USA Today just that: “TV means reach, YouTube means engagement.”

That sounds great, but is it actually true – especially coming from a YouTube head honcho? Turns out, he’s right. A Google & Explorer Group study found YouTube to be 28% more engaging8 than TV.

“More engaging” sounds almost as fictitious as guaranteed Google rankings from your SEO agency. However, to test engagement, the study went as far as eye tracking, brain-wave monitoring and sweat analysis of 750 Canadians.8

Finally, the all encompassing “dual-screen experience.” When watched on a mobile device, YouTube is 2.4 times more effective at holding attention spans than the TV in the background. This can likely be attributed to the fact that we never put down our smartphones.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ADVERTISERS IN 2016?

As you begin to add video into your media plans, knowing where to place the content has never been more important, i.e. finding the right network to tap your target audience and evaluate ROI. For many media buyers, this is an even bigger challenge because traditionally, TV has been their main focus.

In a recent study, Google compared the two platforms by reallocating TV budget to YouTube. It found without spending any additional money, nearly half of all campaigns would have boosted millennial reach by 42% compared to TV alone.6

WHAT ARE OTHER BRANDS DOING?

The number of advertisers running video ads on YouTube has increased more than 40% from 2014 to 2015. Additionally, YouTube’s top 100 advertisers have increased budgets by 60% over the same time period.7

More brands are not only advertising on YouTube, they’re finding it more profitable, hence the increased spending year over year. Experimenting with YouTube advertising could be the next big step in any media plan.

WHAT ARE VIEWERS DOING?

More media plans feature YouTube advertising, but are more people searching for videos on YouTube? Absolutely. YouTube attracts more than 1 billion unique visitors each month, which makes up almost a third of all people on the Internet.7 And, the number of people watching videos there is up 40% from 2014 to 2015.

SO, IS YOUTUBE PART OF YOUR DIGITAL STRATEGY YET?

YouTube is not only a more engaging platform than TV, it’s where your customers live. While reaching them has never been easier, finding the correct channels and ad types is a little trickier. Fortunately, we can help. If you’re interested in learning more about YouTube advertising, check out our Ultimate Guide to YouTube Advertising, or contact us with any additional questions.

SOURCES

  1. http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/young-or-old-everyone-seems-online-video-much-tv-now-167541
  2. http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2015/the-total-audience-report-q4-2014.html
  3. http://www.nielsen.com//content/dam/corporate/us/en/reports-downloads/2015-reports/nielsen-google-case-study-sept-2015.pdf
  4. https://www.forrester.com/North+American+Consumer+Technographics+Online+Benchmark+Survey+Part+2+2015/-/E-SUS2881
  5. http://www.adweek.com/news/television/new-study-says-2025-half-consumers-under-32-won-t-pay-cable-167400
  6. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/how-youtube-extends-reach-engagement-of-video-advertising.html
  7. https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/en-GB/statistics.html
  8. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/new-data-reveals-how-canadians-really-feel-about-ads-on-youtube-vs-tv.html
  9. http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2015/the-total-audience-report-q3-2015.html
  10. http://www.marketingcharts.com/television/are-young-people-watching-less-tv-24817/attachment/nielsen-traditional-tv-weekly-viewing-trends-among-18-24-q12011-q32015-dec2015/
  11. http://www.marketingcharts.com/television/are-young-people-watching-less-tv-24817/
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