YouTube's ad metrics pale against cable

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 13 March 2015

Even if YouTube may garner the most video views on the Internet and generate its fair share of media headlines, the cable industry would like us to know that ad-supported TV is still the king for viewership.

"[YouTube's] true scale and engagement, not to mention content, pales in comparison to ad-supported television," said the Cable Television Advertising Bureau, in a report.

Specifically, TV delivers almost 788 billion monthly ad impressions against YouTube's 13 billion video views

The study also noted that YouTube networks represent a fragmented environment where the platform's top 20 networks, many of which act primarily as user-generated content-aggregators, incorporate more than 37,000 individual channels.

"Meanwhile, cable TV airs 100%, professionally produced content featuring popular, buzzed-about programmes," the industry group said.

On average, a top 20 TV network reaches more than 2.5 times more adult 18-24's than a top 20 YouTube network, the report claims, while monthly adult 18-24 ad impressions of one top ten young millennial cable network is greater than the total adult 18-24 video views on all of YouTube.

Other stats of note include a data point that those aged 13 and over spend more than 89 hours a month with ad-supported TV, versus only five hours with YouTube. Adults 18-24 spend almost 55 hours a month with ad-supported TV compared with less than eight hours with YouTube; and men 18-34 spend almost 62 hours a month with ad-supported TV against only eight hours with YouTube.