YouTube recently announced that the video-sharing website created in 2005 is now was getting more than 1 billion unique visitors every month. And this week Robert Kyncl, Vice President, Global Head of Content Partnerships for YouTube, announced that these visitors "are watching more than 6 billion hours of video each month on YouTube; almost an hour a month for every person on Earth and 50 percent more this year than last."
These are BIG Numbers
Ridiculously big numbers are hard to visualize. So, let's try to put them into a more human perspective.
Let's start with 1 billion people. The population of North America is 528.7 million, the population of South America is 387.5 million, and the population of Oceania is 35.7 million. So, the population of YouTube Nation is now larger than the population of the New World ("Mundus Novus").
Now, let's look at 6 billion hours. Do the math that's 250 million days or 684,931.5 years of video. Now, imagine one of our ancestors 684,931.5 years ago back in the Middle Pleistocene epoch, when humans grouped together in small societies, gathered plants, hunted for wild animals, and developed the most primitive stone tools. If he or she started watching funny saber-toothed cat videos around-the-clock, then a 6-billion-hour-long YouTube marathon would last from way back then until the wee hours of this morning.
Today, our ancestor would discover that the content on YouTube is significantly more diverse and the audience is ridiculously bigger than it was 8 years ago when the video-sharing website was launched.
Gen C: A Powerful New Force in Consumer Culture
With 1 billion people visiting YouTube worldwide every month, virtually any audience that content creators or advertisers want to reach is on YouTube. But, according to Kyncl, the audience that most marketers want to reach is called Generation C.
Gen C is a powerful new force in consumer culture. It's a term YouTube uses to describe people who care deeply about creation, curation, connection, and community. It's not an age group; it's an attitude and mindset defined by key characteristics. About 80 percent of Gen C is made up of millennials, YouTube's core (though by no means only) audience.
At Think Insights, there is some interesting new data on Gen C. For example, Gen C influences more than $500 billion in annual consumer spending in the U.S. alone.
In addition, the data on Think Insights reports:
- 91 percent of Gen C sleeps next to a smartphone.
- 88 percent of Gen C has a social profile, and 65 percent update it daily.
- 80 percent of the members of Gen C with a smartphone watch YouTube on it.
- 40 percent of Gen C is more likely to be only light TV viewers.
In a post on the YouTube Blog, Kyncl said this new data on Gen C "underscores a shift in consumer behavior, and now, Nielsen has further amplified this point by concluding that YouTube reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network. And history – from the transition to radio, then TV, from network to cable – tells us that advertisers always follow the audience."
He added, "Much like our content creators, we find that brands on YouTube – like T-Mobile, Samsung, Dove and Pepsi – all share a common objective: to cultivate a direct relationship with their consumers – one built on engagement and authenticity. These companies know that on YouTube, it isn't just about rallying behind one show; it is about reaching the passionate fan communities of Gen C, an audience that influences more than $500 billion in annual consumer spending. As a result, we're seeing a myriad of brands increasing their media spend, building channels, and discovering first-hand that the interactions they have with their fans on YouTube drive engagement."
And embedded in Kyncl's post was a video that was made for YouTube Brandcast 2013.
The Brandcast event was held for advertisers at a Lower East Side pier in New York as part of a week of "NewFronts" (digital media's version of the TV tradition of promoting programming and selling ads). At that event, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg also announced that his company had acquired AwesomenessTV, one of the most subscribed-to, teen-focused networks on YouTube.
As Kyncl said, "This acquisition gives DreamWorks an opportunity to align itself with Brian Robbins' powerful, next-generation, online video powerhouse. By partnering with more than 55,000 YouTube channels that collectively represent more than 14 million subscribers and almost 800 million video views, Brian successfully created a YouTube network comprised of one of the most valuable consumer groups – Generation C."
DreamWorks Animation joins other media companies like Time Warner, The Chernin Group, Bertelsman, Discovery Communications and Comcast, which have all made significant investments in companies that create, aggregate or service content for YouTube in the last 12 months.
So, it looks like the money is following Gen C. Now, we'll see if advertisers follow the audience, too.