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.
YouTube Shares the Top Creators, Clips and Ads of 2022
YouTube’s has published its listing of the top trending videos and creators of 2022, which provides an interesting overview of the year that was in online entertainment.
Starting with the most viewed clips, the top video was posted by gaming legend Technoblade, in which his father shares Technoblade’s farewell message that he composed before passing away due to cancer.
Technoblade’s final upload has been viewed over 87 million times, which is a testament to the influence the creator had within the broader gaming community.
The second most viewed clip was Will Smith’s infamous confrontation with Chris Rock at the Oscars, followed by another gaming streamer, Dream, and his face reveal clip.
The influence of gaming on online culture is once again on display in YouTube’s top performers, with several of the top channels and clips having links to gaming trends.
Prank videos are also prominent, which is a potentially more concerning trend, with some pushing the boundaries and leading to harm, while the Super Bowl halftime show also makes the top 10 list.
In terms of creators, it comes as little surprise to see MrBeast topping the list:
US Top Creators
- MrBeast (114M subs)
- NichLmao (18.7 subs)
- Airrack (10.7M subs)
- Ryan Trahan (11.1M subs)
- Isaiah Photo (8M subs)
- Brent Rivera (22.3M subs)
- Dan Rhodes (18.8M subs)
- Luke Davidson (9.31M subs)
- CoryxKenshin (15M subs)
- Ian Boggs (8.07M subs)
Jimmy Donaldson has become YouTube’s biggest success story, overtaking PewDiePie to become the most subscribed creator, and parlaying his YouTube success into various other business streams, including BeastBurger restaurants, Feastables chocolate bars and more. Donaldson has even outlined his longer-term plan to run for President. Which is probably not a genuine target, but then again…
YouTube has also provided a listing of Breakout Creators for the year, which includes various Shorts-focused stars.
- NichLmao (18.7 subs)
- Airrack (10.7M subs)
- Jooj Natu ENG (6.03M subs)
- Shangerdanger (4.03M subs)
- David The Baker (2.47M subs)
- Kat (5.2M subs)
- Dayta (4.39M subs)
- Devin Caherly Shorts (3.61M subs)
- MDMotivator (4.17M subs)
- Charles Brockman III (TheOnly CB3) (2.41M subs)
As noted, it’s an interesting overview of the year that was, though from a creative perspective, it’s hard to take many hints from what these top stars are doing and apply it to your own approach.
MrBeast generates most of his viral traction by undertaking ridiculously expensive stunts, while gaming creators are obviously gaming-focused, which is not overly helpful in determining the next big trends.
The majority of the top creators focus on big challenges, like surviving on 1c per day, or living in the Metaverse for 24 hours.
I guess, if you were looking to tap into such, that would be the key lesson, big-time challenges and grandiose projects that generate viral traction through people sharing the clips with their friends.
YouTube’s also shared the top-performing ads of the year:
Global Top Ads
- Amazon (US)
- Telecom Egypt (Egypt)
- Clash of Clans (US)
- Apple (US)
- Hyundai Worldwide (US)
- Imagine Your Korea (Korea)
- HBO Max (US)
- Netflix (US)
- Chevrolet Brasil (Brazil)
- Squarespace (US)
That provides some more specific perspective for marketers, with examples of how other brands are generating traction with their promotional clips – though most of them are celebrity-led, big-budget productions, so again, there’s not a heap for smaller creators to necessarily take from these trends.
I mean, two of the top ten ads feature K-pop megaband BTS, while others have stars like Scarlett Johannsson and Zendaya.
But at the same time, that doesn’t mean that creativity can’t win out.
This ad from Telecom Egypt, second on the above list, uses bright colors and music to sell the brand message.
And really, if you need creative inspiration, you can check out YouTube Shorts and TikTok to see the latest trends that top creators are leaning into with their video approach.
Overall, it’s an interesting perspective on the year, which may help to guide you towards the top stars in the app. But maybe not overly instructive for your own creative approach.
You can check out YouTube’s 2022 year in review here.