Here are some fun facts about Youtube.

 

  • It is more popular (on desktop computers) than the home page of Google.
  • The time that people spend on YouTube is increasing 60 per cent each year.
  • 87% of children (3 – 16 years old) watch something on YouTube in a typical week.
  • 87% of 12 – 15 year old children in the UK use Youtube.
  • YouTube the most popular digital content platform among 13-to-17-year-old internet users in the UK.
  • Youtube Kids, the app designed to make Youtube safer (if not completely safe) for children has just been released in the UK. The service still runs adverts.
  • (Per Ofcom), Youtube legitimises brands, helping to vouchsafe the veracity or trustworthiness of content accessed through the site.

 

Of course, these numbers have been handpicked to support the idea that there is such a thing as a Youtube Generation. And while young people are clearly a huge audience for the site, they aren’t the only one.

 

It’s probably not fair or accurate to name a generation after one video sharing website, no matter how important and widely used. After all, Facebook (which remains by far the most actively used website on desktop and mobile), doesn’t have a generation named after it. The ‘Youtube Generation’ then doesn’t just represent a digital content platform of choice – but rather the general shift in attitude (and loyalty) toward online content, a shift which is more extreme the younger the audience. UK kids no longer grow up on the BBC as we mostly did, rather they will very likely do so on a heady mix of streaming catchup services (like iPlayer) and Youtube, and as choice has atomised and been uploaded, the service that is most efficient, popular and able to provide the answer to our searches is the one that we are likely to turn to.

 

It’s also not accurate to think of the Youtube Generation as simply a young group. Yes, the use of Youtube increases the younger the sample size gets (to the extent that it is now a more popular brand among children than McDonalds), but Youtube gets staggering amounts of visitors every month from every age group. This isn’t a Youtube generation but a Youtube world.

 

Having tried to debunk the term, we can still find a way to get some use out of it. Here is one question to think about as we move on over to 2017. In terms of media planning and overall marketing, what is your brand doing to take advantage of audiences that are fundamentally, and increasingly, changing viewing habits?

 

By Oliver Brown.

 

Stats pulled variously from:
https://www.emarketer.com/Article/UK-Kids-Tune-YouTube/1014796
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/kids-would-rather-watch-youtube-than-eat-at-mcdonalds-2016-08-24
http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-monthly-visitors/503303?red=at
http://www.digitaltveurope.net/463562/ofcom-children-now-prefer-youtube-to-tv/
https://kids.youtube.com/
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