Why YouTube Users Watched What They Watched in the Past 24 Hours

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YouTube asked more than 12,000 people worldwide between the ages of 13 and 64 why they watched what they had watched in the past 24 hours and shared its findings in a Think With Google blog post.

The participants watched a wide variety of content, ranging from traditional media to online video, and they chose their No. 1 reason for watching from a list of 20.

The top five were: Helps me relax and unwind; teaches me something new; allows me to dig deeper into my interests; makes me laugh; and relates to my passions.

YouTube wrote, “70% of global viewers say that their moods dictate their content choices. That points to video’s increasingly personal role in our daily lives. And since our moods change, it follows that our reasons for watching do, too. From getting in-store advice to learning new skills, people all over the world increasingly rely on video for more than just entertainment—and choose what to watch for new reasons altogether. Many say they ‘don’t know how they’d get through life’ without it.”

The latter statement applies to one-half of Generation Z and millennials, and YouTube’s other findings included:

  • Traditional TV-era markers of quality rank less important to viewers than they once were.
  • Viewers place more value on content that relates to their personal interests and passions.
  • The ability to help people dig into their interests was twice as important as high production quality or being on a preferred network or platform and four times more important than featuring famous actors.
  • Younger generations are more likely to seek out short-form content such as webisodes, tutorials and short video-clips produced by professional and amateur creators.

The Google-owned video site wrote, “The way we watch video has changed: With more content choices than ever, people are empowered to seek out what really matters to them on a personal level. Here’s what that means for marketers,” and it shared its key takeaways:

  • Find a way to relate: When possible, find a way to relate to your audience based on their personal interests, but keep in mind that those interests might not be what you’d expect. If you’re targeting people interested in self-improvement, for example, don’t restrict yourself to your vertical alone. Follow the behavior.
  • Think beyond entertainment: 46% of global viewers use video content to learn something new. Video has grown from an awareness-only medium to an engaging one, and ad strategies should follow suit.
  • Focus on passion, not just production: When choosing what to watch, relating to passions was 1.6 times more important to viewers than high production quality. That means people are more inclined to watch when content speaks to what they’re passionate about, even if it doesn’t have a traditionally premium look.

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