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If Your Brand is Trying to Reach Today’s Youth, Get Heavy on YouTube

If your brand, product or service offering is geared towards a 13 to 24-year-olds, and you’re not putting significant budget into YouTube (video production, talent, paid content distribution), then you’re doing it wrong. According to recent results from a Defy Media survey, six out of ten youth aged 13-24 said they would be more likely to try a product or brand suggested by a YouTube star – only four in ten, from that same age group, said they would try a brand suggested by a television or movie star.

The gap is the widest at the younger end of the spectrum, with 13-year-olds being the most highly influenced by YouTube celebrities and videos. Among 18-24-year-olds, slightly fewer follow YouTube (51%) than TV/movie (54%) stars, but clearly that group is still heavily involved and influenced by YouTube.

The survey found that young people are watching 11.3 hours of free online video — YouTube, Vine — and 10.8 hours of subscription video — Netflix, Hulu Plus — each week. They spend 6.4 hours weekly watching free online offerings from cable networks, and 8.3 hours watching regularly scheduled TV.

The multi-part study involved in-depth interviews and social media surveys and revealed that 62% of Americans ages 13-24 like digital media just because “it makes them feel good.” Andy Tu, EVP of Marketing at Defy Media, told Business Insider, “One of the reasons that people are going to digital platforms rather than TV is that they just like the content a lot more. It’s easier to relate to, and it makes them feel better about themselves. We had someone tell us, ‘I like Nicki Minaj, but I can’t relate to Nicki Minaj. All she talks about is making money. For YouTube, there seems to be this respect for them being who they are. When we asked them if they thought they could become famous on YouTube, a lot said yes.”

In a similar survey, commissioned by Variety, the five most influential figures among Americans ages 13-18 are all YouTube faves, eclipsing mainstream celebs including Jennifer Lawrence and Seth Rogen. The survey revealed that the highest-ranking figures were Smosh, the online comedy team of Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla.

If you need help getting your content seen on YouTube, Raidious can help! We’re staffed with YouTube content distribution experts. Contact Raidious today.

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