21st of November 2018

Published by Mumbrella See original article

Context is king when it comes to TV and YouTube

Now, a 50 per cent increase seems pretty big but it’s also an example of what we at ThinkTV call a “numberwang” – a statistic you can bandy around that sounds impressive but, with a bit of context, is less so.

The media and marketing industry is more guilty of this than most, and last week I saw a classic example in an email which pointed out that TV viewing was seasonally lower during the summer, as YouTube ratings comparatively increased. The email called on marketers to “leverage YouTube’s reach” and stated watch-time on the online-only video platform “grows more than 35 per cent during the summer months”.

Anyone reading the email may have been left with the impression YouTube’s summer viewing actually surpasses TV’s. It’s a classic numberwang because without context, the figures provided don’t give a full picture. So “35 per cent” could be 35 per cent of a lot, or 35 per cent of not very much. My seemingly huge 50 per cent increase in online dinner orders, for instance, was in fact an increase of just one extra order per week (three meals then, rather than two).

So to find some context, I had a dig around in the IAB and OzTAM stats, to establish how that 35 per cent really stacks up against TV. It turns out in the last full month’s data for both platforms (September), Australian’s TV consumption was 4x that of YouTube. That bears repeating: four times.

This sort of clarification matters because if we shift dollars away from TV to YouTube, we would be moving away from a platform that has larger opportunity to connect with potential buyers.

Read the full article on Mumbrella.

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