LONDON: YouTube users in the UK are significantly more likely than non-users to buy digital content and to try new products research has found.

As part of a global study, Google surveyed 1,583 people in the UK, of which 74% were YouTube users aged 13 to 64. This revealed that 31% of YouTube users said they would be among the first people to try new products, compared with 14% of non-users.

Similarly, they were two times more likely to buy digital movies and books than non-YouTube users, Marketing reported. And 22% said they had looked up more information online after seeing an ad on YouTube.

Google argued that the findings dispelled an image of YouTube users as primarily young consumers who expected content to be free.

And, in a dig at a section of the marketing community, Derek Scobie, the head of YouTube brand propositions for Northern and Central Europe, said that "some senior and older marketers may still experience YouTube largely through clips sent through e-mail or through hearing about it second hand".

They may not have realised, he gently suggested, that YouTube was "more than a viewing platform" and that users could "engage directly with the content and creators".

Most YouTube users went online every day (89%) and were socially active, with 62% having liked or commented on a status, post or blog in the preceding month. Further, half were connected to more than 100 people online.

The most popular type of content accessed was music (59%), followed by comedy and DIY.

The survey also found that YouTube users watched less TV than non-YouTube users, and were more likely to have the TV on in the background while focusing on other devices (62% vs 47%).

These results lend weight to recent remarks by Google's chief business officer Nikesh Arora, who said during an earnings call that the digital was "at a significant industry moment" as it moved to the forefront of marketers' plans.

"Marketers and agencies that have historically built their brand on TV are reorienting their creative, planning and investments with digital at the centre," he declared.

In evidence he pointed to the 2014 Super Bowl: advertisers, he said, had extended the life and reach of their TV spots on YouTube, where they had been seen by three times the size of the audience that watched the same ads on TV.

Data sourced from Marketing; Seeking Alpha; additional content by Warc staff