Time to rethink your views of YouTube?

In the rapidly changing digital world, stereotypes quickly become outdated. And nowhere is that truer than in the case of YouTube.

YouTube, you see, has just released a big pile of data about its audience; and that data nails some myths about your average YouTube viewer.

Apparently it isn’t just the preserve of Millennials watching videos of cute cats, but is becoming increasingly popular among older audiences.

Indeed the time spent on YouTube grew 80% faster among adults aged 55 and over than it did among the adult population as a whole. For adults 35 and above, time spent on YouTube grew by 40% more than for all adults.

The research by ComScore shows YouTube reaches nearly 95% of online adults 35+ in a month. That’s right, nearly everyone who is online will be reached by YouTube at least once.

When it comes to considering whether to take YouTube seriously as an outlet for reaching key decision makers and influential individuals in senior jobs, this is an important discovery.

It might mean, for example, that it’s worth investing some time in a content strategy for YouTube and building a channel.

However, another stat from a Google/Ipsos Connect survey from July 2016 throws some doubt on that assertion.

It shows the top two reasons people come to YouTube were “to relax” and “to feel entertained”. So potentially not to view your Thought Leadership video after all.

And these revelations also don’t fundamentally change the reasons why you shouldn’t be using YouTube as a primary video hosting service. Yes we know it’s free, but a paid-for video hosting service such as Wistia, Vimeo or Brightcove provides many tangible advantages over YouTube that we don’t have time to go into here.

YouTube is just another social network, like Twitter, like Facebook, like LinkedIn.

If your target audience is on YouTube - and this new data suggests most of them are - it might be worth investing some time in content with an “entertaining” twist, though that still carries your message.

But if you’re looking for video hosting, it changes little. Those who invest elsewhere will benefit.

Nathan Coyne
By Nathan Coyne