Research Briefing: YouTube commands marketing spend on ad-supported streaming services

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In this week’s Digiday+ Research Briefing, we examine how YouTube commands marketing spend among ad-supported streaming services, how fewer publishers plan on growing their events business, and how ads are coming to Meta’s Threads platform sooner than expected, as seen in recent data from Digiday+ Research.

75% of brands and agencies place streaming ads on YouTube

For the second year in a row, YouTube came out on top as the ad-supported streaming platform that received the largest portion of marketers’ ad placements and ad budgets. This is according to the first installment of Digiday’s two-part annual report on ad-supported streaming services. Three-quarters of brand and agency respondents (75%) said in Q1 2024 that they currently place ads on YouTube and more than half of respondents (60%) said YouTube consumed the largest portion of their budgets in 2023 and 2022.

YouTube likely came in first for ad placements and budget allocation mainly due to its audience reach. The platform has more than 2 billion monthly logged-in users, according to YouTube, which far outpaces other platforms. Nielsen’s February report on U.S. linear TV and streaming viewing showed that YouTube held the top spot in streaming for 12 consecutive months. 

YouTube also has access to Google’s entire first-party search and browser history data due to its connection to Google’s demand-side platform (Display & Video 360), the dominant DSP in streaming and online advertising. Google, as the publisher of YouTube, can count its own user login data as its first-party data. First-party data reserves are increasingly a crucial selling point to attract advertisers, as deprecation of the third-party cookie slowly becomes a reality (very, very slowly). 

And, while most ad-supported streaming platforms offer similar content in the form of on-demand movies and TV series, original movie and TV programming, and live TV channels, YouTube stands out as the only platform that offers user-generated content, which YouTube refers to as creator content. 

Insights and stats:

  • “Over the past three years, we’ve invested over $70 billion, paying over 3 million creators who are uploading over 500 hours of content every minute. That ensures we have the most diverse content library available, which is going to appeal to anyone’s individual passions and interests, and that’s ultimately what’s driving the viewership numbers that you’re seeing.” — Brian Albert, YouTube’s managing director of U.S. video deals and creative works
  • Amazon’s new ad-supported tier Prime Video (with ads), which launched in January 2024, tied with The Walt Disney Company’s Hulu for second place when it came to ad placements. More than one-third of brands and agencies (36%) said that they currently place ads on both Hulu and Prime Video, respectively, as of Q1 2024. 
  • Hulu also came in a distant second to YouTube for ad budget allocation. Thirteen percent of marketer respondents said that they devoted the largest portion of their 2023 ad-supported streaming budget to Hulu. Prime Video (with ads) was excluded from the 2023 budget allocation analysis because it had not yet launched.

Read more about the top ad-supported streaming platforms

Digiday+ Research digest

The percentage of publishers making money from events hit a low as of the first quarter of 2024 and fewer publishers plan on growing that part of their business. This is according to Digiday+ Research surveys conducted among publisher professionals every six months. Digiday’s surveys found that publishers’ events revenue has been trending downward. In Q1 2022, 63% of publisher pros said that they got at least a very small portion of their revenue from events. A year later, that percentage fell to 57%, before falling again to 47% in Q1 2024.

The stats:

  • The percentage of publishers who get none of their revenue from events has been trending upward. Fifty-three percent of publishers said in Q1 2024 that they don’t get any revenue from events, up from 43% in Q1 2023 and 37% in Q1 2022.
  • The percentage of publishers who are not focused on growing their events business spiked in the first quarter of 2024. Forty-eight percent of publisher pros said in Q1 2024 that they’re not focused at all on building their events business in the next six months, compared with 20% who said the same in Q3 2023.
  • A pattern may be emerging in which publishers get more revenue from events in the second half of the year. In Q1 2022, 63% percent of publisher pros said that they got at least a very small portion of their revenue from events, compared with 71% who said the same in Q3. In Q1 2023, 57% of publisher pros said that they got at least a very small portion of revenue from events, while 72% said the same in Q3.

Read more about publishers’ events business

Ads are coming to Meta’s Threads a lot sooner than expected. The tech platform recently told ad executives that they will be able to buy ads on its X-rival, text-based platform as early as the second half of 2024, industry sources have told Digiday. Threads ads will likely appear as new placement options in Meta’s ad platform Advantage+, which houses all placement opportunities across both Facebook and Instagram. Digiday+ Research surveys of agency professionals and brand and retailer professionals conducted in the first quarter of 2024 found that Meta’s social platforms (minus Threads) still hold the top spots among social media marketing channels. 

Insights and stats:

  • Ninety-four percent of agency pros and 96% of brand and retailer pros told Digiday they use Instagram, while 79% percent of agency pros and 93% of brand and retailer pros said they use Facebook.
  • Forty percent of agency pros and 54% of brand and retailer pros said they spend a large or very large portion of their budgets on Instagram. Meanwhile, 27% of agency pros and 36% of brand and retailer pros said they spend a large or very large portion of their budgets on Facebook.
  • “We were told that Meta plans to build out Partnership Ad functionality on Threads, but it [Meta] did not have a date for when that would be available. I think Meta would prioritize in-feed placement first [on Threads], and then focus on ads within the trends and topics section.” — Colleen Fielder, group vp of social and partner marketing solutions at Basis Technologies

Read more about brands’ and retailers’ Meta spending

https://digiday.com/?p=542422

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