But better. Last week, at IAB Engage, Matt Brittin, Google’s vice president of business and operations in Europe, said that YouTube in the UK was ‘bigger’ than ITV (channel? broadcaster?) for 15-34s. This is something of a rethink from what was being said by Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt back in May when he said that YouTube had ‘overtaken’ the whole of TV.
So better, but not great, Matt. Because this endless comparison to TV perpetuates the myth that TV and YouTube are in competition, when we know they are complementary in so many ways. They are not even equivalents; ITV, along with many other broadcasters, makes its programmes available via YouTube. I wonder how ITV feels about helping YouTube expand only to get this sort of comment? It creates an impression that YouTube is growing at TV’s expense, which is untrue, and I assume the intention is to encourage advertisers to fund any YouTube advertising from TV budgets.
That’s what’s really so irresponsible about this comment. This energy that always goes solely into flinging around media consumption stats is a distraction from what we should really be talking to advertisers about: effectiveness. Comparing time spent – and reach alone worse still – is wilful misdirection in my opinion from what matters, and I say that despite linear TV hours being three times greater than all hours spent online (sources: UKOM and BARB in August, a lower than average month for TV viewing). In that regard, the evidence of TV advertising’s supreme effectiveness (often enhancing online media effectiveness) is overwhelming.