YOUTUBE VS TV - What's Best For Business?
The old complaint of "There's nothing on TV worth watching" is being replaced with the cry of "There's so much great TV I can't catch up". But we do our best, catching up on favourite shows on all our screens both at home and mobile. As we commute and at work and at home, we are devouring content with a passion. A passion that anyone who's watched four episodes of House of Cards back-to-back will agree often borders on obsessional behaviour.
We are living in a golden age of TV. We are watching more and more great shows from an ever increasing array of new challengers to the traditional broadcasters. But beyond Netflix and Amazon we are seeing innovative brands becoming the publishers of great original content. Not just advertising around it, or sponsoring it, but creating it from scratch.
It is genuinely surprising that traditional TV has managed not only to compete with it's noisy online neighbour but more that often retained its appeal to advertisers obsessed with digital and click-baiting millenials.
In the UK TV ad spend rose by 8.5 per cent in 2015, a fourth consecutive year of increase. The early signs for 2016 look even more positive.
Online content giant YouTube has bitten back, and indeed has form in attacking TV, last year it advised UK marketers to shift their adspend away from TV to YouTube. Saying they needed to move 24% of their budgets over if they wanted to reach the more responsive (young, affluent) audiences.
YouTube's desire to grab more of the marketing pot is understandable. UK brands spent £711m on online video ads in 2015. Contrast that to an estimated £5.3bn spend on TV. The money is there and Google wants more of it.
The real value of TV advertising is in how it builds up brand awareness, and trust, and actually creates the most sales.
According to Thinkbox "50% of the effect of a TV campaign is actually realised in the year after broadcast, long after most ROI studies have stopped measuring effects"
YouTube is also a platform that hosts swathes of lower-value user-generated content and not the top-quality drama and entertainment programmes advertisers want to associate with and audiences desire. As yet YouTube is not the place for premium content. Netflix it ain't. That may change with YouTube Red and a serious move to creating original content for paid subscribers who want an ad-free experience.
The real shift to be made in adspend is that brands and businesses need to create more video content full stop. Video is the most shared and viewed content online and the truth is YouTube and TV working together is not as bitter rivals the most powerful combination for marketers.
Production companies Like Toast TV provide challenger brands with the best of both worlds and with the ever-increasing number of niche cable, satellite, and Freeview channels emerging advertisers can target their audiences more effectively and much cheaper than before.
But going forward is advertising what audiences really want to see? The smarter companies and brands will increasingly move away from creating ads and become content studios, producing shows, documentaries and movies. The kind of content we choose to watch.