YouTube – from home videos to a factor of power
29 percent of Danes aged over 15 years watch YouTube videos daily, and DKK 33 billion worth of advertising is sold every year. YouTube has become a serious competitor to conventional media, and we take a closer look at the medium’s explosive growth, unique benefits and the new generation of stars and consumers.
In the past 10 years, YouTube has undergone a wild change, where the site has gone from being a silly video platform to being an actual force to be reckoned with in the mediascape. This means that, today, we are faced with a changed media environment and a new reality, one that communications or marketing departments have to deal with.
ON-DEMAND CONTENT CHALLENGES FLOW TV
YouTube is not only the world’s second largest search engine, it is also a true content machine. Every minute, 100 hours of video is uploaded, and 6 million hours of video are watched every month. A number that increases by 50 percent every year. In other words, there is a huge variety of content for everyone. In practice, this means that YouTube has now become a bigger sales channel than television media, and not least established itself as the younger generation’s preferred medium, as it is both on demand and at the same time enormously segmented according to their particular interests. Therefore, YouTube and its users very much challenge conventional television channels, and have started to move into areas where you would probably never have expected YouTube to feature.
WHERE THERE ARE VIEWERS, THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES
The growth in viewers has obviously made YouTube an interesting marketing platform. Therefore, more and more YouTube videos have seen commercial content added to them, both in terms of content marketing-based product reviews and outright advertising before a video plays. And with the huge audience, several Danish news media are also considering whether they should have a TV channel on the site with short news videos that give advertising turnover as well as viewers. This trend means that the classic commercial TV market is being challenged, because advertisers are starting to allocate an increasing portion of their advertising budget to YouTube. Not only does YouTube match flow TV on viewers (only TV2 and DR1 reach more Danes) – as an advertiser you also have opportunities that TV never offered.
As an advertiser on YouTube, you have unique opportunities to target you marketing.
SEGMENTED ADVERTISING = LOW COST/HIGH IMPACT
This means that, as a manufacturer of e.g. mascara, you can place your media pressure in connection with videos that are about mascara. This way, YouTube gives advertisers segmentation opportunities that television media have dreamed about for years – and segmentation not only means greater impact, it also means less cost for advertising.
GREAT DANISH YOUTUBERS
SO, DOES IT WORK?
According to Google Research, 50 percent of so-called beauty shoppers watch a beauty video on YouTube while they are out shopping, and they make their purchasing decisions based on advertising and YouTuber recommendations. The vast majority of these beauty videos are sponsored by companies who understand the potential of YouTube. And more and more people in the media industry are starting to realise what YouTube can do, and start to recognise it as a legitimate and successful marketing platform. For example, IT giant Microsoft pays YouTubers to promote their Xbox, and to several major game developers it is no longer just about making great games, but creating games that will do well in video reviews on YouTube.
YouTubers are starting to break down the traditional barrier between the stars and their audience.
But who are these YouTubers, theno? And why are they interesting from a marketing perspective?
YOUTUBERS – THE NEW STARS IN THE MEDIA SKY
A YouTuber is a registered YouTube user with their own channel where they upload videos, watch other people’s videos and comment on each others content. In itself it is not very exciting for marketing – however, the size of their following is what makes them interesting. The world’s largest YouTube star is Swedish PewDiePie who, with over 31 million followers, earns millions per year on partner programmes and sponsorships. Domestically, names like Kristine Sloth, Morten Münster and Stupidaagaards catch the young consumers’ attention. For example, 15-year-old Kristine Sloth’s “Chill Challenge” video has nearly 60,000 views at the time of writing – more than DR3 had when they showed “X Factor UK” on a Tuesday evening at 20. Not only do these YouTubers open up a new type of marketing, they are also overtaking established celebrities. A US survey made by news medium Variety revealed that YouTubers like Swedish PewDiePie surpass super famous Hollywood stars like Katy Perry, Johnny Depp and Leonardio DiCaprio in popularity. In other words, YouTube stars are the idols of today’s youth, and more and more of them dream of being able to make the transformation from school pupil to superstar.
With a new type of stars, new types of companies have also appeared in the media landscape, systematising it all. Thus, both Danish and foreign companies such as Splay, Maze, FameBit and United Screens have emerged, all working with the most famous YouTubers. In effect, they are Hollywood-style agents as we know them, who sets up contracts and sells advertising opportunities, structured according to each company’s product and audience. These companies make an anarchistic and chaotic medium more systematic – and thus more accessible to businesses and more commercial than the original starting point.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
There is no doubt that YouTube has already become a powerful medium. And the way it looks at the moment, it will surely grow even larger. Currently, YouTube primarily challenges the television medium in the competition for young viewers where, in particular, those aged 15-18 years use YouTube more than they use, for example, Netflix or flow TV. Therefore, it will be extremely interesting to see whether younger generation will bring their media habits with them into the future, thus establishing YouTube as an even more central media – perhaps even the primary. There is one thing we can say with certainty: YouTube has moved from silly home videos into a factor of power in record time, and as an advertiser, you can either jump the bandwagon or watch as it thunders by. Sources: http://variety.com/2014/digital/news/survey-youtube-stars-more-popular-than-mainstream-celebs-among-u-s-teens-1201275245/ http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2326673/YouTube-Vloggers-and-Haul-Girls-Crush-Big-Beauty-Industry-Brands-Study http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/28/vloggers-changing-future-advertising http://socialtimes.com/youtube-stars-vs-hollywood-celebrities_b201973