Positive link found between YouTube views and linear TV reach | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Despite fears as to what the rapid growth of online video could do to the TV industry, Nielsen research has revealed a symbiotic relationship between both YouTube views, uploaded TV content on YouTube, and TV reach.

YouTube VR 20 May 2016The base point for the study, commissioned by Google's online video division, showed that TV viewership habits have changed dramatically over the past decade. Digital video platforms are increasing in popularity as Americans watch more TV content on desktops, smartphones and tablets, and US digital advertising has been rising at a rate above 15% since 2012 and is expected to continue at that pace.

However, the key finding in the report is what Nielsen called a ‘statistically significant’ relationship between TV reach and higher YouTube engagement among those who are 18 and older. Indeed, the research showed that the more people watched TV programme content on YouTube, the more likely they were to tune into that show on linear TV. Conversely, YouTube viewership was seen to rise as TV programme reach increased. When looking at a leading talk show, the study showed that was an 18% increase in tune-in on TV amongst those who watched related YouTube content versus those who did not.

The report also showed that as digital video viewership continues to grow on platforms such as YouTube, advertisers, agencies and TV programmers have an opportunity to take advantage the connection between digital views and TV audiences. YouTube engagement through views and uploads was shown to be connected to TV reach or bringing more people to trial the show, and in general playing a part in keeping viewers connected to the TV programmes.

Commenting on the report, Jonathan Zepp, YouTube head of North American content partnerships, said: “As viewership of videos online continues to expand, Nielsen has demonstrated that platforms such as ours can be an important means for engaging viewers of TV content. The direct relationship between YouTube views and TV viewing is strong, which means advertisers and agencies have a tremendous opportunity to increase brand engagement through campaigns that harness this relationship.”