Study shows YouTube and linear TV can find common ground

29 August 2016
Scooters in the Sydney office

According to a study from Nielsen and Google, YouTube and linear TV actually help each other.

Despite being rival media channels, and coinciding with news that Nielsen admitted to 18 months of YouTube online ratings mistakes in Australia, new research shows that both may be able to find “common ground” - according to AdWeek.

Nielsen commissioned a case study by Google which found that TV reach seems to drive YouTube engagement, and in turn, YouTube engagement drives TV reach.

Despite battling it out for viewers and ad spend, it found people who view a TV program's content on YouTube are more likely to tune in to the actual show. It’s because of that, as TV audience increases, so does YouTube viewership.

The signals for advertisers that both mediums might be better than just one.

Mixed views on YouTube

In July it was revealed that after striking an exclusive video content deal with YouTube back in 2014, WPP's GroupM agency would be putting the brakes on its use of the Google-owned platform. 

At the time the deal was first struck, GroupM said it reflects a shift in the way the agency network views online video. Danny Bass, GroupM chief investment officer at the time, told AdNews the move was about changing the way GroupM has viewed viewed YouTube in the past, which was as a digital channel receiving digital budgets – adding that now it would come from mainstream budgets.

However, after the ­return on a major investment did not live up to expectations, GroupM said it is not renewing an ­upfront advertising deal with ­YouTube on anywhere near the same terms - “dealing a blow to the Google-owned online video ­platform’s aspirations to position itself as a marketing alternative to traditional television”.

Speaking to AdNews at the time, a spokesperson from Google said that Google Preferred sold out for 2016 and many clients are seeing the benefits of advertising in the top 5% of content on YouTube.

“Overall, it doesn't really matter how much time someone watches TV - it matters whether they watch your ad, how much of that ad they watch, and whether it’s reaching the audience you're targeting,” the spokesperson said.

“The critical thing for advertisers hoping to reach consumers is whether they have content that encourages people to watch and engage with the ads on that platform.”

On Saturday it was revealed that Nielsen has been under-reporting YouTube desktop ratings by up to half, in its Online Ratings over the last 18 months.

The measurement body has been working with Google to rectify the situation over recent weeks. 

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