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Exploring the YouTube Habits of UK Digital Video Viewers

March 18, 2016


Debbie Weinstein
Director, Brand Solutions and Innovations for EMEA
Google

Over the past year, digital video viewers in the UK have increasingly turned to YouTube for consuming content via mobile, and they are spending significantly more time perusing videos. eMarketer’s Sean Creamer spoke with Debbie Weinstein, director of brand solutions and innovations for EMEA at Google, about how YouTube works with UK brands to capitalize on these viewing trends.

eMarketer: How are brands in the UK leveraging the social video space to get their message out?

Debbie Weinstein: There’s definitely been an evolution in the way folks are thinking about essentially telling their sight, sound and motion video story with the advent of outposts and distribution channels. We see different agencies and different customers taking different approaches.

They’re actually starting to evolve their thinking about where they can get the reach with the target audience, where they can actually get cut through among the target audience, and where they can make sure that they’re getting the results they expect from the target audience. As folks think about reach, they are generally thinking about the evolution of audiovisual in a general context, but I would say it differs by agency and by customer.

“More than 50% of our watch time is actually on mobile devices, and that is growing.”

eMarketer: How has audience growth in the UK ranged for YouTube over the years?

Weinstein: We’re definitely seeing an explosion of growth on YouTube. Last year we saw some of our fastest growth. On mobile devices we’ve increased about 200% year on year, in terms of time spent with YouTube on mobile devices in the UK.

More than 50% of our watch time is actually on mobile devices, and that is growing. More and more of time spent is going to be with mobile devices.

Beyond that, the average mobile viewing time is something like 40 minutes per session. When I first heard that, I was shocked by that statistic—the idea that you’re on a mobile device for so long. You might have accessed and tuned in for one piece of content on YouTube, but suddenly you are spending 40 minutes, actually in a session, while on your mobile device, on YouTube.

That speaks to how consumers are leaning into video consumption patterns in new ways. The advent of mobile viewing has launched an explosion in video consumption, changing how people interact with digital video on different screens and in different places on the go—not just on their living room couch.

eMarketer: What ages are most likely to tune in via mobile?

Weinstein: We’re definitely seeing more time spent on YouTube across all ages, all genders and all demographics. Certainly, if you’re talking about men ages 16 to 34 or women 16 to 34—that core young adult audience—that’s the place where we see it being more dramatic.

For the best ways to find men 16 to 34 and women 16 to 34, we’re recommending that marketers and advertisers shift around 24% of their video budgets overall to be spent on YouTube, based on the time that the demographic is spending with our video network. Our video stats are much the same.

eMarketer: Are viewers watching content created for linear TV on YouTube in the UK?

Weinstein: There are some people who define television as the stuff that you would have found traditionally on a broadcast channel, so a 22-minute sitcom or a 44-minute drama. You certainly can find some of that on YouTube, and it depends by market a little bit where the broadcasters are putting content.

“For the best ways to find men ages 16 to 34 and women 16 to 34, we’re recommending that marketers and advertisers shift around 24% of their video budgets overall to be spent on YouTube.”

You can find whatever you’re into, similar to magazines in the old days where you would go to a newsstand and find 200 different titles that appealed to every different enthusiast area you could find. There were the audio enthusiasts, the fitness enthusiasts, and not even just fitness, but if you’re into muscle sports vs. dieting or whatever.

eMarketer: When you look at the phenomenon of binge-viewing for regular TV shows or content on Netflix, are you seeing something similar for viewers on YouTube?

Weinstein: A hundred percent. The viewer behavior is that people may come for one particular piece of content, either that’s been sent to them, or they might have gotten a notification that their favorite channel they subscribe to has uploaded something new for them to see—and then they end up spending many, many minutes or hours with that content.

eMarketer: How have brands and marketers gotten content in front of these types of viewers?

Weinstein: There are a couple of different ways that marketers are taking advantage of that. At the very fundamental level, they’re thinking about exactly the questions you opened with, which is, ‘How do I actually think about getting my video story into the eyes and ears and hearts of the consumers I’m trying to reach?’

That is about straight up reach-based planning or video-neutral planning across all the places that I can now reach the consumer I’m looking for. And that’s really the fundamental place that people start.

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