YouTube: “Cultural moments and new stars … on a phenomenal scale”

At the IAB UK’s final 2016 Digital Upfront event, Pete Cory, Google’s Agency Director of Branding, invited the audience to “think a little differently about YouTube”.

It’s important to consider the video channel’s scale and influence, he told the crowd at YouTube’s new office near London’s St Pancras International station, before outlining various ways in which it has created “cultural moments and new stars … on a phenomenal scale”. 

And, while he claimed that it’s the “number one choice” for 16 – 24 year olds, Cory also pointed out that a large chunk of its audience is over 35, too. 

What’s more, over 50% of views are now on mobile, he revealed - although the fastest growing platform for the channel is in fact on television “because YouTube is embedded at point of purchase for Smart TVs”.  

He was perhaps speaking directly to advertisers when he said that its audiences “come to watch, not scroll … and 96% have sound on”.  

Alison Lomax, Google’s Head of Brand Solutions, then described how YouTube is investing in its ecosystem of storytellers – with the recent opening of a dedicated space at its London office, for instance, as well as a shop next door to this, which sells creator merchandise. 

“And we are super excited about our most premium content offering, Google Preferred,” she told the audience, revealing that 28 out of the top 30 TV advertisers have booked on it this year.

“It’s selling out,” she said. before announcing that YouTube is set to launch a range of new packages - including a sports package, having become the ‘home for the highlights’ of the Olympics earlier this year. 

“There are so many communities around yoga, around cycling, around golf – and also around moments of the year,” she said, adding that, as such, YouTube has “a slate of packages” in the pipeline.

Finally David Black, Google’s Director of Branding, was joined on stage by Michael Docherty, Digital Director at Cancer Research UK – a charity which recently put YouTube at the very heart of its fundraising. 

Docherty revealed how its recent 1000-hour live-stream of fundraising culminated in four hours of content delivered last weekend – and which beat both Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor combined in terms of social buzz – whilst raising close to £200k. 

“YouTubers were at the heart of what we did,” he told the audience.

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