YouTube viewing

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

13 March 2017

One billion videos are downloaded each day

Here’s something I hadn’t considered about YouTube TV. Maybe Millennials have developed such a habit watching YouTube that it’ll be a success. Because YouTube viewing is riding an incredible wave.

Earlier this month, I wrote that YouTube TV wasn’t anything special. Just another streaming attempt to replace cable television. But the Wall Street Journal reports that YouTube viewing is reaching stratospheric numbers. More than 1 billion hours of videos are downloaded EACH DAY. That’s a 10-fold increase since 2012.

“You wonder, however, if Millennials are so trained to use YouTube that it’s now a serious viewing outlet.”


YouTube viewingA colleague here at Stealing Share reports that his 19-year-old son watches videos on YouTube more than he watches TV, Netflix or even plays video games. What’s going on here? Why is YouTube viewing exploding?

Our television viewing habits are changing by the minute. Live TV still reigns supreme. But it scatters across many channels and systems. Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services eat up a bulk of our viewing time. YouTube TV joins Sling TV in offering an alternative to live TV on cable and satellite systems. We view a mix of all now.

Even CBS sees the writing scribbled on the screen, with its CBS All Access. It sports a library of past shows, current ones next day (like other networks on Hulu Plus) and shows that are only available to subscribers. (Such as The Good Fight.)

YouTube viewing numbers mean the outlet is serious

I maintain that no one will truly reign as viewers buy a smorgasbord of options, giving them the freedom of choice.

But I never really considered YouTube to be a serious part of that equation. Maybe it’s my age. The only time I go on YouTube, frankly, is for instructional videos to do house repairs. (I installed a ballast with one.) Or to view a new ad from the competition.

You wonder, however, if Millennials are so trained to use YouTube that it’s now a serious viewing outlet. The WSJ story expressed doubts, however, that YouTube is not all that profitable for its parent company, Google’s Alphabet. I expect that to change. Ads precede videos. YouTube TV attempts to charge its huge viewership for another option.

I still have my doubts, but I’m open to the possibility of YouTube TV’s success. Millennials have been trained to have short attention spans (thanks to technology), which is one reason why YouTube is so appealing to them. They view in snippets.

Don’t be surprised if YouTube TV viewing soon includes original programming, ala Netflix. So here we go. Another option taken seriously.

See more posts in the following related categories: CBS Google Hulu Netflix Sling TV YouTube


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