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Audible taps YouTube influencers to boost subscriptions

It is said that the best way to reach consumers effectively is for advertisers to find them where they’re spending time. For millennials this may mean targeting YouTube influencers.

Millennials are spending most of their video viewing time on YouTube

As of Feb 2017, YouTube viewers worldwide are now watching more than 1 billion hours of video a day. This threatens to eclipse U.S. television viewership and represents a tenfold increase from 2012.

With such rapid growth, large companies have taken notice. According to the IBtimes, “everyone knows YouTube has a mind-bogglingly large, young audience. That’s one of the reasons Magna Global, the massive ad-buying arm of Interpublic Group of Companies, is taking $250 million from its clients’ TV budgets for October 2016 through December 2017 and dumping it into YouTube.”

What’s more, YouTube is capturing more prime time viewers in the 18-49-year-old market than any TV network.

To viewers the difference isn’t just in the medium. Customers say they are repelled by TV content and attracted to online video which they relate to more.

According to Defy’s fourth annual Acumen Report YouTube topped the list of must-have video sources. 67% of respondents agreeing they “can’t live without” it. Netflix followed at 51%. Social-media services — an aggregate of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Tumblr — were at 48%, as video usage continues to rise on those platforms. Only 36% of the Gen Z and millennial consumers said they “can’t live without traditional TV.”

YouTube also topped the list of most watched video platforms. It remains the most-viewed video platform among millennials: 85% of respondents said they regularly watch the Google-owned video service. Netflix came in at 66%, followed by TV (62%).

With YouTube being a clear favorite for the millennials, what kinds of content are they viewing the most? And how can it be utilized?

YouTube stars are the new Influencers

Examining data on what kinds of content millennials are consuming online, it is clear it wasn’t like the traditional kinds of programs most popular on television.

A Defy study on social media found most young consumers view video from people they don’t know personally. Only 14% said they watch videos from friends and family. 24% said they watch mostly videos featuring their favorite digital celebs. 24% viewed videos with people they do not know personally, such as pranks or “fails.” Just 11% said they watch video of movie stars and traditional celebrities.

The 24% viewing of videos from digital celebs is more than double that of videos from traditional celebrities. In fact, studies have shown that YouTubers are more influential than traditional celebrities. According to data from Google, 7 out of 10 YouTube subscribers related better to their favorite YouTube content creator than to traditional television or movie stars. Moreover 6 out of 10 YouTube subscribers would follow advice on what to buy from their favorite creator over their favorite TV or movie personality.

The type of YouTube content most preferred by millennials is videos uploaded by “ordinary” people. This is a change from traditional television, which has content produced by brands and companies.

The younger generation favors select individual creators on YouTube called influencers. The question then becomes how to utilize these influencers?

The Audible Case Study

Many different companies have already successfully partnered with influencers online and documented their results. Audible is one such company.

For the 2015 campaign season Audible, the Amazon owned audiobook company, sought to increase traffic to its site. The company identified YouTube channels in relevant categories such as Education, and Science & Technology. It partnered with top influencers in these channels such as Roman Attwood, and PewDiePie. Then it collaborated with the influencers on relevant content for both Audible and the subscribers of the channel.

The result was 84 million campaign views from a 133 million total audience base. The brand awareness was increased substantially. There were increased conversions and signups for Audible’s monthly membership service.

Audible found where their customers were spending time and who they were spending it with. YouTube influencers.

Why it matters

YouTube traffic is increasing with millennials spending most of their video viewing time there.

The content they watch is usually produced by an individual or influencer.

By partnering with influencers on YouTube companies can be very successful in their marketing

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