Google’s video site YouTube said a study it paid for found it reaches more people aged 18 to 49 than any network, including broadcasters, and hits more viewers in that demographic during primetime than the top 10 shows combined.
And that’s just people using mobile devices to watch its prank clips, vlogs and cat videos.
Calling the past year YouTube’s best ever, CEO Susan Wojcicki shared the stats Thursday during YouTube’s annual Brandcast presentation to advertisers in New York. The comparisons to traditional TV came from a Google-commissioned Nielsen study in the U.S. in December.
She added that brands could have reached 56 percent more people in that demographic by advertising on YouTube as well on traditional TV, according to a Google-commissioned comScore study in the U.S. also in December.
YouTube is the biggest video website in the world, with well more than 1 billion people visiting it monthly. Its origin in user-generated content fostered an early identity for low-quality content. But as it has grown into the Internet’s de facto place to find free video, the content on the site has broadened and its popularity has surged, especially among young viewers who grew up with cell phones as their primary screen.
That growing attention to digital options like YouTube and subscription sites like Netflix have been a main force dragging down ratings for traditional TV.
During the presentation, Wojcicki also said that YouTube hosts more 360-degree video than any other platform in the world, a veiled jab at Facebook.
Facebook has been aggressively campaigning to boost video viewing on its social network, through moves like lifting more clips to the top of its visitors’ news feeds and playing them automatically as you scroll past. Putting in direct competition with YouTube, the moves have quickly ramped up video viewing on Facebook to 100 million hours every day.
The company has been touting its 360-degree video recently, especially as it launches its virtual reality headset, Oculus Rift, which can be used to watch 360-degree videos more easily.