While YouTube was once just a place to watch funny cat videos, the platform has definitely evolved since the first video was uploaded in 2005. YouTube still has plenty of short-form content, and that trend isn’t going anywhere. But instead of just streaming on mobile devices or computers, more and more viewers are watching on the big screen.
Last December, over 120 million people in the U.S. streamed YouTube or YouTube TV on their TV screens, a 20% jump from earlier that year in June. So what has caused the spike? First off, we can’t rule out the fact that people are staying at home more ever since the pandemic broke out in 2020. So instead of watching on the go, viewers are likely to be at home when streaming, making their connected TV readily available. Another factor is the new generation which clearly seems to prefer watching on the big screen. In December, more than 25% of logged-in YouTube CTV viewers in the U.S. watched content almost exclusively on the TV screen, according to YouTube.
eMarketer projects over 106 million households in the U.S. will watch streaming content in 2021, outnumbering the viewers for pay TV. The entertainment media landscape have shifted to less traditional content you’d find by switching on your TV to watch cable and more to personalized and exclusive content found online.
“Viewers are leaving behind traditional primetime, and we’re finding at YouTube that the new primetime is personal,” says YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan. “People want the freedom to stream anything whenever they want, whether it’s a favorite movie, a hard-to-find music performance, a premiere sports event, or even a tough workout.”