Chart of the Week: Who’s Watching the Ads on YouTube?

This week, YouTube announced a new type of in-stream ad format, positioned as a new way for “advertisers to connect with their audience” by allowing viewers to move beyond mere click-through interactions and onto more complex transactions, like downloading an app or buying a movie ticket. While these new ads certainly offer advertisers with an expanded set of branding opportunities, is YouTube the best way to reach their target audience? Which is to say, who actually watches ads on the streaming video platform?

Who Pays Attention to the Ads on YouTube?

Our CEO Hannu Verkasalo presented some of Verto’s latest data on streaming video audiences at TubeCon in Helsinki this past August. We analyzed the behavior of U.S. adults (ages 18 and above) who used the YouTube mobile app to identify the audience segments that watch the greatest amount of video ads per month within the app.

According to Verto data gathered over the past year, men and Millennials spend the most time watching ads on YouTube’s mobile app. Men spend an average of six minutes per month watching ads on the app, compared to just under four minutes per month among women (and an average of just under five minutes per month for all users). And younger Millennial viewers (those between the ages of 18-24) rack up an average of nine minutes per month watching ads on the YouTube mobile app, which is nearly double the amount of time that older Millennials (those between the ages of 25-34) spend with ads on the YouTube app. The amount of time that audiences spend watching ads on the YouTube app drops in accordance to audience age, with older viewers (those over the age of 55) spending the least amount of time watching ad content, an average of less than two minutes per month.

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