Study: 59% of millennials only watch YouTube ads until they can skip

Dive Brief:

  • Research by LaunchLeap and reported by eMarketer found that 59% of millennials only watch YouTube video ads until they are allowed to skip the ad, while 29% watch the ads to completion.
  • YouTube remains a popular video platform with millennials, coming in as the third most popular social media platform for daily use, according to separate research by UBS Evidence Lab cited by eMarketer.
  • YouTube’s net U.S. video ad revenue for 2017 will reach $2.59 billion and will account for 20% of total U.S. video ad revenue, the largest share of any one company, per eMarketer. 

Dive Insight:

Strong viewability for video advertisements is a metric that's dogged brands for years and is likely to become even more pressing in 2017 as video continues to take over as the go-to content medium on social. YouTube achieving ad completion with 29% of millennials is pretty solid considering other platforms like Snapchat reportedly receive less than 3 seconds spent on average in video ads. 

YouTube has recently shown itself to be a strong player when it comes to engagement, with Google, YouTube's parent company, publishing a report in December that suggested mobile YouTube videos beat primetime TV with key audience groups, and that attention paid to YouTube ads is 84% higher than on linear TV. 

The LaunchLeap research also found that just 11% of U.S. millennials were ad blocking on YouTube — news that might give marketers and ad tech firms some solace, as it's relatively low, though the figure is disputed by other research. Last July, Anatomy Media found that 63% of U.S. millennials had adopted ad block software and other research by the Reuters Institute found 44% of U.S. internet users between 18 and 24 used ad block tech, as well as 29% of 25 to 34-year-olds, per eMarketer.

Whatever the actual rate of millennial use of ad blockers, the LaunchLeap survey results show marketers that YouTube should be a key part of video ad strategy for most brands looking to connect with younger audiences. Given the rate of ad skipping, marketers might also want to front-load key ad content into the first few seconds when the ads are actually being viewed.

Filed Under: Social Media Video Mobile
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