YouTube is changing the way we view video online in three major ways. We are watching on the TV screen, we are watching to learn, and we are watching to figure out what to buy.
YouTube is bigger than ever on TV
YouTube now reaches almost 2 billion unique viewers a month according to a Google blog post. The majority of that traffic is still coming from mobile. However, more and more users are watching from their living room. Every day people watch over 180 million hours of YouTube on TV screens.
This increase in TV viewing is no accident. Google has spent big on advertising to grow its television audience. YouTube TV was at the top of the list of vMVPDs in Q4 2017. It had more than twice the share of its next biggest rival DirectTV Now. In addition to this, YouTube TV isn’t the only way in which the social video giant is growing on the television screen.
YouTube is producing more original series for the newly branded service YouTube Premium, formerly YouTube Red. The service increased its price from $9.99 to $11.99 and will be available in 17 countries. This premium content features new series including already established creators.
The rise of YouTube on the TV screen seems to track the rise of Connected TVs. Connected TVs have been steadily growing in popularity. Since the YouTube app usually comes with the screen, it is very easy to watch the latest clips on TV. Moreover, if the app isn’t included, users can easily “cast” from their mobile phones.
Premium content on the television screen isn’t the only way YouTube is changing the online video game.
People are learning from YouTube
We usually think of video as a source of entertainment. We watch movies and television shows to have a laugh, experience a story, or as a form of escapism. However, viewing data from YouTube shows that people are also watching video for education. “How to and Style” is the second highest viewing category, according to data from Tubular labs.
Before, if you needed instruction on how to fix your sink or perform a standing backflip, you would need to go to an expert or the library. Now a simple YouTube search will provide several videos to instruct you.
Education is so popular that YouTube is coming out with its own initiative. Here they will be promoting more premium ‘how to’ and educational content as well as giving out grants to creators who make the content.
Entertainment is now not the only reason people turn to video, but also to learn, and as we will see, learning what to buy.
Consumers are making purchase decisions with YouTube
There are many reasons why people purchase products: perhaps their friend recommended it, or they saw a cool advertisement, or maybe it was the first item they saw in the store. According to Google’s Blog, consumers are increasingly making decisions based on input from YouTube creators.
“From early stage browsing to product reviews to learning how to use a product, people turn to a wide range of video content to find ideas and inspiration that drive buying decisions. “
Customers are turning to “real people” for advice on products. Some influencers engage in shopping trips that they videotape, while others review products they have purchased. Fans and followers of these influencers take their advice because they feel it is coming from someone “they can trust.”
Social video and YouTube are influencing the way we watch video, why we watch video, and what we buy after we watch. They are taking the power of television to persuade and placing in the hands of “real people.”
Why it matters
The 2 billion people that watch YouTube each month watch 180 million hours per day on the television screen.
People aren’t just watching this new “television” for entertainment, they are doing it to learn.
The items they purchase are heavily influenced by what they watch on YouTube on the television.