With streaming content consumption soaring during the COVID-19 lockdowns, YouTube is seeing some major shifts in viewing behavior, and it's now looking to provide new ad options to help marketers tap into these evolving consumption trends.
Even before the lockdowns, connected TV viewers were YouTube's fastest-growing audience segment, as people become more accustomed to watching online content on their big screens. But now, with people seeking more entertainment options while confined to their houses, YouTube's TV-connected viewing has gone through the roof:
Of course, that's largely to be expected - people arent watching on their phones as much because they're at home anyway, and can view the same content on a bigger screen. But such trends do inform behavioral shifts, and even once the lockdowns are over, you can expect to see more people viewing YouTube content on their TV sets.
To help marketers tap into this, YouTube is adding two new options for TV-connected audiences.
First, YouTube's fast-tracking the launch of its Brand Lift for YouTube on TV screens option, which will enable advertisers to survey users on their responses to YouTube ads on their TV sets.
As per YouTube:
"For viewers, this means surveys are now optimized for the big screen and interactivity with a TV remote, so people can easily respond or skip the survey."
The option will provide another way for marketers to glean feedback from YouTube viewers in order to optimize their campaigns.
In addition, YouTube says that it's also adding skippable ads for content that's casted onto the TV screen - which is a little unclear, given that you can already skip ads in content you view on-screen. The option will likely look to cater to more TV control devices and remotes, in order to help more users skip through ads they're not interested in.
While mobile viewership is on the rise, in all forms, the home TV remains the key source of home entertainment, with our lounge rooms formatted around the main, communal viewing device. That means that YouTube, Amazon and any other digital provider needs to make home TV casting a priority, and the current lockdowns are providing ample opportunity for these platforms to showcase their offerings, which, as noted, could lead to new shifts in digital video consumption.
That will also provide new opportunities for advertisers.
These latest options from YouTube are relatively minor in the larger scheme, but the capacity to target TV-style ad campaigns to specific audiences is hugely valuable, and becoming more so as audience viewing figures continue to rise.