Former MTV, The Hour, and Hockey Night in Canada host - and newly-minted YouTube star - George Stroumboulopoulos speaks with Google Canada's head of public affairs, Aaron Brindle, at the YouTube Pulse event on Sept. 14.
Former MTV, The Hour, and Hockey Night in Canada host - and newly-minted YouTube star - George Stroumboulopoulos speaks with Google Canada's head of public affairs, Aaron Brindle, at the YouTube Pulse event on Sept. 14.

Published: September 22nd, 2016

YouTube is a favourite with Canadians of all ages, and across all devices, with newly released statistics illustrating why advertisers might want to think twice about adding the channel to their marketing mix.

For example, the number of hours Canadians spent watching YouTube every day on their mobile and tablet devices rose by 60 per cent between 2014 and 2015, Google Canada revealed at YouTube Pulse, its recent broadcaster marketing event, and 75 per cent of daily Canadian users visit YouTube multiple times per day.

It isn’t just millennials YouTubing either: 80 per cent of Gen Xers reported watching YouTube on their smartphones, according to Google staff, and 6.4 million Canadians over 50 watched an average of 88 YouTube videos each in June 2016.

“More people are coming to YouTube and they are doing it more often,” Marshall Self, Google Canada’s director of agencies, said during YouTube Pulse on Sept. 14. “We are no longer talking about your teenager’s video platform of choice… Canadians of all demographics are consuming sight, sound, and motion on multiple platforms.”

Over the past four years alone, the amount of time Canadians spend watching online video on their mobile devices has more than doubled, Self said, increasing by 127 per cent, with online video consumption in general increasing by 44 per cent during the same period. Today, online video represents one third of the time consumers spend watching ad-supported video, including TV.

Yet marketers have been slow to take advantage of this substantial audience, with online video representing only nine per cent of total ad-supported video spending (including TV) last year, Google said.

We know that today’s audience is shifting and fragmenting and we need to move with them,” IPG Mediabrands Canada CEO Harvey Carroll said during YouTube Pulse, noting that his own digital marketing agency, which employs 8500 specialists across more than 130 countries worldwide, considers YouTube alongside traditional broadcasting when planning video.

“No video plan can ignore YouTube if you truly want to optimally reach your audience,” Carroll continued. “It is not about TV vs Social vs Online video strategies – it’s really about a singular… ‘Video’ strategy. We need to plan with a platform agnostic approach to reach audiences wherever they consume video.”

Naturally Google used YouTube Pulse to reveal a new marketing tool for advertisers interested in harnessing the platform: Breakout Videos, an extension of Google’s existing Preferred service that invites brands to attach their ads to viral content such as “Charlie bit my finger” and Silentó’s Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).

Announced at last year’s YouTube Pulse, Google Preferred allows marketers to purchase ads for the top five per cent of YouTube content.

Since the service’s Canadian release last April, 99 per cent of campaigns measured have seen a boost in ad recall, according to Google, with an average gain of 73 per cent.

Google released an infographic summarizing the key findings it revealed at YouTube Pulse, which you can check out below (click for a larger version).

youtube-pulse-infographic

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