The explosion of online video and mobile video consumption has propelled YouTube to the top of the burgeoning Web TV space. As we discussed in our last report, YouTube: The Next Generation of TV, YouTube is now reaching more viewers ages 18-49 on mobile devices than any TV network reaches on the traditional TV set. And YouTube viewing continues to grow: viewing hours are up 50% and daily video views are up 40% over last year, according to YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki. It’s the dominant go-to place for younger viewers, drawing large audiences that typically number in the single and increasingly the double-digit millions.
Even some linear TV shows that make their content available online now have larger audiences on YouTube than on linear TV. Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show” is a great example: it has a reasonablysized audience on NBC, but a disproportionately larger audience online
YouTube has created a class of stars that are proving to be more influential and ultimately more relevant to Millennial and Generation Z viewers than traditional TV. For these stars, who have developed huge followings on the platform that number in the millions, YouTube is a launch pad. They are now developing off-YouTube strategies – and that doesn’t necessarily mean TV strategies.
At the same time, the world of online video has rapidly grown over the last two to three years as has the quality of content; Netflix now has over 60 million subscribers; Amazon’s breakout series “Transparent” has pushed the boundaries of television for the better. Meanwhile, the lines between “TV” and “Web Video” have all but diminished for viewers. MCNs are now appearing on pay TV set-top boxes; premium cable network shows are now premiering on Facebook and YouTube, and ‘finding something to watch on TV’ has become synonymous with ‘finding something the watch on Netflix.’