Out of the Fog, Into the Holiday Season

November 09, 2016

We’re halfway into the fourth quarter of 2016, and it’s been a busy one for the industry. As the country’s media entities (and consumers) come out of the political ad fog, they are awakening to the next advertising onslaught: the holiday season. Most of the media was planned and placed months ago, and, while many buys are well in progress, they are going from second stage to star of the show on screens across the country as the political campaigns wrap.

Many holiday advertisers leverage YouTube to extend their television buy. And, based on what recent advertising industry data says, this is with good reason.


YouTube has massive reach. Back in May at the NewFronts, YouTube made a splash when it released research showing that it could “reach more 18-49 year-olds during prime time than the top 10 television shows combined” and that it reaches more 18+ year-olds during prime-time TV hours than any cable TV network1.

Sightly Social Media Samples

YouTube is connecting shoppers with valuable content to inform their decisions across platforms. And, the value of YouTube content goes beyond a single screen. We’ve talked before about how daily time spent viewing videos on mobile devices is on the rise. Along with it is viewing of product review videos on smartphones and tablets: on YouTube, mobile watch time for product review videos has grown 60% year over year2.

YouTube is delivering consumers context and meaning. Sure, YouTube has massive reach. But, we all know that advertising isn’t just a one-way channel. That’s why targeting within a consumer’s distinct context – and delivering meaning and value to their day – is essential.

-Mobile shoppers have high context expectations. More than 40% of smartphone shoppers want retailers to automatically surface relevant information such as special deals, the location of items in the store, and related items3.

-Millennials expect meaning and inspiration. Four in 10 millennials say they only trust YouTube for videos on causes they care about4, and six in 10 teen subscribers say a YouTube creator has changed their lives or how they see the world5.

Digital video advertising will continue to be an essential component of any video ad plan. Research firm EMarketer has projected that digital video advertising is expected to grow by 28.5% this year to $9.84 billion. Nearly $2 billion of that pie will go to YouTube.


  1. Google-commissioned Nielsen study, prime-time audience for YouTube mobile (smartphone), Nielsen mobile panel, broadcast prime for individual cable networks, reach (live + 7, one-minute qualifier), television only, April broadcast month, April 2016
  2. YouTube Data, U.S., classification as a “product review” video was based on public data such as headlines and tags, and may not account for every such video available on YouTube, Nov.–Dec. 2014 and Nov.–Dec. 2015
  3. Google/Euromonitor International, “How Mobile Influences Shoppers in the Moment,” U.S., smartphone shoppers=1,000, Jul. 2016.
  4. Google-commissioned Ispos Connect, “The YouTube Generation Study,” U.S., YouTube creator subscribers aged 18-34 (n=268), Nov. 2015
  5. Google-commissioned Ispos Connect, “The YouTube Generation Study,” U.S., YouTube creator subscribers aged 13-17 (n=275), Nov. 2015