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YouTube TV — StatSocial’s Guide to OTT Network Audiences

Sep 4, 2018 | Insights

(Be sure to check out this series’ introductory entry here.)

Little in the way of introduction is necessary for anyone reading. The degree to which YouTube changed the game almost immediately upon their launch is virtually incalculable. Reviewing all of that would just be taking up time better spent digging into our statistics.

Distribution is key for competing in this sector, and it’s difficult to imagine any presence on the web more prominent. The reach of the YouTube brand is nearly incalculable, and bound to be tremendously attractive to future partners.

While YouTube stars were initially written off as fluff, the service has entertained everyone of all ages, with fans numbering in the vast millions. The “creator” content — even as some of their biggest creators age into their late-20s and early-30s — primarily appeals to younger audiences. Creators of all sorts, however, appeal to a broad array of people. Many channels have a strong, profitable foothold without jump cuts or featuring video games.

YouTube’s exclusive creators — people who started by making and uploading videos on their own, who in turn found audiences, and wound up partnering with YouTube, sometimes to the tune of millions of dollars a year — had been migrating to other services, or into more mainstream Hollywood venues. Some went to potential competitors. Colleen Ballinger — a longstanding and notably enduring YouTube creator — did two seasons of a comedy series called ‘Haters Back Off,’ in which she portrayed her incredibly popular ‘Miranda Sings’ character, for Netflix.

With the advent of the premium service, YouTube Red, and the live-streaming YouTube TV, hanging onto the personalities the service made superstars among a certain segment of society seems to be one of their priorities. In this game — be it live-streaming or on-demand — content is king. Sponsorships and partnerships are possible in the YouTube space, as they are with most.

YouTube Red, the on-demand subscription service, really made a splash with a surprising Sony Entertainment co-produced series called ‘Cobra Kai.’ It’s almost as though they deliberately courted people rolling their eyes at the concept, so they could surprise them with the actual finished product.

It picked up the saga of the ‘Karate Kid’ franchise 34 years after the first film. William Zabka, who played the blonde, popular heavy in the original film, and Ralph Macchio — the underdog who winds up mentored by the now late, Oscar nominated Pat Morita’s Mr. Miyagi character — reprise their roles. The show takes an unexpected turn and treads into an area where things are no longer so black and white. As in life, characters have virtues and flaws, and we watch these two men — fierce adversaries in their teens — try to work through their demons and come to peace with their lives. Perhaps not a masterpiece — that’s not for us to say, really — but an auspicious and audacious dive into original content that was not driven by the YouTube creators.

In fall of 2017 YouTube forged a partnership with Major League Baseball, seizing upon the excitement surrounding the year’s postseason to raise awareness of the Google-owned video giant’s then brand-new YouTube TV live-streaming service. This promotion took the form of YouTube TV being the first-ever presenting sponsor (i.e., “presented by”) of the “Fall Classic,” also broadcasting it on the YouTube TV service.

An integrated, multi-platform campaign, with players promoting the partnership across social media was launched. YouTube in turn harnessed the influence of its own homegrown celebrities, its creators, to generate sponsored content touting the partnership and the event.

Things worked out so favorably for all parties involved that MLB and YouTube TV have extended and deepened their involvement with one another. YouTube TV has made the MLB Network available to its subscribers, and for an additional fee YouTube TV’s users will be able to view the league’s own long-running live-streaming service, MLB.tv.

YouTube TV also offers NBA TV, and a partnership with the NFL will find the platform promoted just before kick-off. Additionally, however, as all of a user’s local channels will be included in the package — which means CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox affiliated (or owned and operated) channels, plus more — in turn many NFL games up to and including the Super Bowl are automatically included.

As soccer continues its steady growth in popularity stateside, YouTube TV is dedicated to doing its part in contributing to that cause. They’ve acquired the broadcast rights for MLS expansion team LAFC’s (Los Angeles Football Club) non-nationally televised matches, and the YouTube TV logo is found on the team’s kit.

YouTube’s flagship user-generated content platform has long sold its mobile functionality as part of its appeal. With YouTube TV, they’re throwing their hat into the cord-cutting ring in a major way. It’s right there in the name. They’re on your phone, tablet, and notebook. Now they want that thing in your living room.

The Basic Demos:

SEX

An explanation of how to read this chart, and all such charts you’ll find on the StatSocial platform: The bar in blue, and the percentage within, represents the social media audience being analyzed (in this case, fans of YouTube TV). The bar in grey, and the percentage within, represents the baseline. For these entries, that is the average American social media audience. The index score to the right represents the degree to which the corresponding statistic for this audience is either in line with, exceeds, or falls short of the baseline. Index scores consistent with or greater than the baseline are in green, and those that are under-indexed are in red.

The baseline here is an even 50/50; half men and half women. This audience, leans a bit male. For your “at-a-glance” convenience, on the sightly and easy-to-use StatSocial web platform, an under-indexed score will be indicated in the reporting with a number in red (as in the image above). Those audience proportions either in keeping with, or exceeding the baseline are indicated in green.

Our emphasis on sports notwithstanding, there’s nothing overly male-friendly that’s immediately evident when observing YouTube TV without the aid of StatSocial.

INCOME

Spoiler alert! These results will seem less surprising when we jump into the next set of stats. Still, nearly half this audience earns under $50,000 a year. The quantity earning over $100,000 annually falls rather significantly short of the average.

AGE

This is to what I was referring above. A full quarter of this audience is college-aged, or those just out of college. Indeed, to a degree comfortably over-indexed. Half of this audience is under 34 years of age (while under-indexed, they are very nearly dead on with the average).

The incomes earned by such a large proportion of this audience make more sense in context.

We mentioned above that YouTube had long made their mobile compatibility a big part of their marketing, and the below list of brands for which this audience shows the strongest affinities illustrates what is perhaps the fruits of that strategy

BRANDS

High end fashion, high end auto, and soft drinks dominate the most prominently indexed brands here. Admirers of the Louis Vuitton fashion house and luxury brand can be found here to a degree exceeding the average American social media audience by nearly three times.

Fans of Mercedes-Benz and their legendary high performance, luxury automobiles are dwelling among this audience to an extent exceeding the baseline by over two-and-a-half times.

TV SHOWS

The list is topped by BBC America’s (originating from BBC One in the U.K.) ‘The Graham Norton Show.’ The Irish comedian’s long-running talk show — which boasts a transatlantic variety of A-list guests — finds fans among the YouTube TV crowd by a proportion exceeding the average American social media audience by over five-and-a-quarter times.

Four of the programs here are animated. The youngest of those shows, the Seth MacFarlane co-created ‘American Dad,’ has been in production — initially on Fox and for the past four years on cable TV’s TBS — for a considerable 15 seasons. Fox’s ‘The Simpsons’ — the longest running scripted American primetime series ever — begins airing its 30th season this fall. These programs find favor here to degrees exceeding the baseline by roughly two-and-a-half to what’s approaching nearly three times.

SPORTS TEAMS

Live-streaming services grant American soccer fans — across the country — with the greatest opportunities to view the largest assortment of matches, played both here and abroad. This is a clear reason why they figure so prominent among fans of the major competitors in the streaming sector.

International teams such as Spain’s Real Madrid C.F. — over-indexed above the baseline here by over eight-and-three-quarters times — and F.C. Barcelona have the attention of all soccer fans everywhere.

While Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the two most famous active soccer players on Earth, has moved on to play for Italy’s Juventus F.C. this past season, he played for Real Madrid for 9 years, becoming a household name all over the world during that time. Lionel Messi, the other of the world’s two most famous active soccer players, has played for Barcelona since 2004.

YouTube TV has done live-streaming in the past of major La Liga matches, as well as those of England’s Premier League. YouTube TV also offers subscribers, for an additional fee, Fox Soccer Plus.

YOUTUBE CHANNELS

To start things off we have the Indian news channel, NDTV. With nearly 11 million followers on Twitter, seven-and-a-half million on Facebook, and over two million YouTube subscribers, the channel has a strong presence at social media. That said, among this audience, their YouTube channel still finds favor to a degree exceeding the average by 27 ½ times. Next is the Vevo page for Mexican band Reik, also with a social media audience of millions. Still, you’ll find Reik fans — or fans of their Vevo channel, at least — among YouTube TV’s audience to an extent in excess of the average by 14 times.

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Watch this space, as this survey of the platforms most eager to get you cutting that cord has more to come.

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