In our new report, ‘Content Consumption & Consumer Sentiment Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic’ (available here), Channel Factory surveyed more than 1000 US consumers to share their YouTube activity in the recent weeks of social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 virus.
Channel Factory found that the vast majority of consumers go to YouTube to improve their mood and find uplifting, helpful and educational content. The survey also found that respondents felt that YouTube offers more contextually relevant content based on what they wanted to see.
- 80% of respondents go to YouTube to improve their mood
- 69% find the platform’s content more uplifting than other channels
While 33% of respondents go to YouTube for COVID-19 content specifically, many more are watching a broad variety of mood-boosting videos:
- 48% are watching entertainment videos
- 48% are watching music-related content
- 33% are consuming comedy
- 31% are looking at videos about DIY
- 29% are feasting on cooking-related content
When polled regarding the influencers they’re seeking out the most in recent weeks, while 30% of consumers were looking for authoritative news experts, more people were seeking out music (46%) and comedy (40%) influencers in their on-platform video and channel browsing journey.
The report also shows that while fewer YouTube viewers have seen brands running ads next to content that makes them look bad – a sure sign that brand safety on the platform is improving, there is a significant opportunity for brands to find positive and uplifting contextually targeted inventory on YouTube.
From fitness and comedy to cooking and crafting, YouTube’s surge in traffic goes far beyond topics directly related to the pandemic. When asked specifically about YouTube advertising, survey respondents were very positive about the role advertising plays on the site:
- Over 70% of respondents want ads that both boost and align with their mood
- 29% of participants expect ads to be relevant to the content they’re watching
Consumer expectations of contextually aligned advertising can be added to the extensive engagement data and field tests (as recently as the one put out by GumGum last month) bearing out the importance of contextually matching ads to the content they run on.
The data speaks for itself – contextual alignment is key, and during this particular time of heightened sensitivity, consumers are more dialled in to the types of messages they’re receiving as they spend more time with YouTube.