YouTube Seeking Bigger Spending from Advertisers

YouTube boasted big numbers and said it should be getting bigger advertising budgets from big advertisers.

Speaking Thursday at YouTube’s Brandcast event during the NewFronts, CEO Susan Wojcicki said that the video sites fastest growing screen is the one in the living room, with people watching more than 250 hours of YouTube per day on TV screens.

“People just aren’t watching TV like they used to,” added Allan Thygersen, president, Americas, for Google. He said that YouTube reaches more 18 to 49 year olds in an average week than all of the cable TV networks combined.

In addition to reaching audience, YouTube can drive results for sponsors.

When Google launched its put its money where its mouth is, running a test to see if, as promised, YouTube could build reach as quickly as television. In the first week, it ran commercial on TV and none on YouTube. The second week, it ran ads on YouTube, but not on TV. YouTube managed to reach 23 million viewers in one week, and those viewers were, on average seven years younger.

“TV will continue to be a part of your plans, Thygersen told the clients and media buyers assembled in Radio City Music Hall. “No question we should all be allocating a lot more to YouTube.”

YouTube said it is making a third-party analysis by Nielsen Catalina Solutions of Google Preferred campaigns that will measure lift in offline sales for U.S. packaged good brands and provide performance insights about audiences and creative.

One client who seems convinced is Alison Lewis, global CMO for Johnson & Johnson, who has given the venerable marketer a digital mindset. She described how J&J used YouTube to sell Neutrogena makeup remover, to launch Listerine Ready Tabs and to create Clean & Clear skin product with lemon--an ingredient that was trending online.

“Using data-inspired creativity, we increased our sales. We engaged with a previously untapped audience. And, we converted them into customers. Throughout it all, we relied on YouTube’s insights to adapt again and again,” Lewis said. “Today, we no longer look at digital as an add-on. We know it works and we know it delivers a better return on our investment. That’s why we’ve increased our YouTube spend 250% since 2015.”

For all its size and success, YouTube continues to battle brand safety issues YouTube turned off comments on millions of videos and has human reviewers check all videos that go into Google Preferred packages of YouTube’s top channels.

“Living up to our responsibilities is my number one priority. We are making significant progress,” Wojcicki said.

While YouTube urged brands to work with its creators to reach their millions of followers, YouTube also announced renewals of some of its own, professionally produced original programs, and some new programming as well.

In a change in strategy, all YouTube originals will have an ad supported window in front of any pay wall, Robert Kyncl, chief business officer of YouTube said.

He said that YouTube has renewed its popular Karate Kid sequel Cobra Kai for a third season and that the first two seasons will be made available for free.

Kyncl also said that Keven Hart’s What the Fit will be coming back for a third season and that Liza on Demand with Liza Koshy would be back for a second season.

He introduced Alicia Keys, who will be starting a new show called Unwind on YouTube and also said that Justin Bieber was working on a secret project with YouTube.

Tiffani Haddash also appear, saying she would have her own channel on YouTube.

Other programming announcements including a second season of Impulse, expanded coverage of Lollapalooza, and an interactive special, A Heist with Markiplier.

Youtube will have docu-specials featuring Claire Wineland, a YouTube creator who lost a long battle with cystic fibrosis at the age of 21, another featuring Dude Perfect, the trick-shot artists who have become YouTube favorites, and one from Paris Hilton about Paris Hilton.

The Brandcast presentation featured several music performances including appearances by Dua Lipa, Simply Three, Adam Savage, Lele Pons, Daddy Yankee, Grace VanderWaal, DSharp and Michael Stevens.

The after-party at Rockefeller Center was dampened somewhat by a cloudburst.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.