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YouTube-TV lines blur

News, 30 September 2016

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: More and more people are watching YouTube videos on TV sets and TV programming on YouTube, as the lines between different types of online video consumption become increasingly blurred.

Think With Google noted that "Viewers are curating their own content streams, with no care for labels like digital, broadcast, cable, smartphone or television", and argued that just as combining TV with YouTube produced better entertainment for consumers, so too it could produce better results for brands.

It reported that viewership of television content on YouTube has risen 230% in the US since 2013 and that YouTube now makes up over half of people's time watching online video on television.

And if they're not watching on TV, chances are they're watching on a mobile device: 92% of YouTube viewers – defined as those watching at least once a month – watch YouTube on a mobile device while at home.

So for brands, there are clear benefits from investing in online video to increase reach, and that can be done via advertising or branded content.

Almost half of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store, according to Think With Google, while it also claimed that purchase intent is 150% higher from paid YouTube TrueView ads than from TV ads.

But while YouTube was once the default for online video advertising, that is no longer the case.

Facebook delivers over eight billion video views a day, with Snapchat not far behind, and there are plenty of other platforms using video – even audio specialists like Spotify have moved into this area – with new options appearing all the time.

For example, Meerkat, the pioneering live-streaming video app, has developed what it describes as a "synchronous social network" – Houseparty is an app for video chatting with friends – while virtual reality is widely expected to become a major area of interest for brands in the near future.

Brands therefore need to be constantly re-evaluating their video strategy in terms of both platforms and content.

Warc's 2016 Toolkit advises that a hero/hub/housecleaning paradigm can give broad shape to developing an effective video strategy: hero content achieves broad reach and awareness, hub content reflects viewer wants and passions to secure regular engagement, while housecleaning addresses day-to-day concerns such as product demonstrations and usage tips.

Data sourced from Think With Google, The Verge; additional content by Warc staff