Nielsen: YouTube reached a record high in watch time March 2024

Is your family still watching the 6 p.m. local news or cable T.V.? You are in the minority in Horry County.

It is now more common for audiences to watch YouTube on their smart TVs rather than on their mobile devices or websites.

YouTube TV was launched in 2017 and increased its subscription cost to $72.99 per month in March 2023

The once-internet-only streaming service has evolved into a legitimate platform – and advertisers are taking notice. Google owns the Youtube streaming product.

Says Sean Downey, President, Americas & Global Partners at Google, “We’re in the midst of a transformative moment for marketing. The explosion of streaming has redefined what people mean when they say they’re going to watch TV. On top of the usual diet of series, films, and sports, creator-produced content has increasingly become a major player on TV screens everywhere. According to Nielsen’s total TV and streaming report for the U.S., YouTube reached a record high in watch time in March 2024 to become the most watched streaming platform.

At the same time, viewers have high expectations for the connected TV (CTV) ad experience. They expect relevant ads, but not at the expense of their privacy. In fact, our research shows 85% of consumers globally want brands to invest in privacy-safe technologies.1

These shifts may seem overwhelming right now, but we’ve been through periods of transformative change before — from the arrival of the internet to the shift toward mobile. Now, the AI opportunity is coming at a time when marketers are faced with these changes, even as they deliver business outcomes more efficiently.”

Adds Downey, “I’m excited about the possibilities ahead. Once again, we have a new opportunity to make meaningful connections with audiences. We can challenge the status quo when it comes to streaming ads, and explore new ways to boost efficiency and ROI. And it all starts with a unified approach to video buying.”

Here’s one viewer behavior Google says they couldn’t have predicted five years ago: the popularity of short-form content on TVs. Even though these videos are intended for a vertical format, YouTube Shorts watch time on connected TVs grew more than 75% from January to September in 2023.2

This speaks to just how fluid viewing habits have become. And when the audience jumps from their phones to their laptops to their CTVs, connecting with them at the right moment can feel like a guessing game.

Says Downey, “At Google, we’ve been partnering with you to build a better streaming ecosystem for viewers, publishers, and advertisers.”

Audiences connect across all the content they love

Audiences are watching more types of shows, creators, and content than ever before, so bringing together as much of that media in one place is vital.

That’s why Display & Video 360 (DV360), Google’s demand-side platform, gives advertisers access to worlds of creator-driven content on YouTube as well as top publishers like Disney, NBCUniversal, Paramount, and Warner Bros. Discovery.

Today, Display & Video 360 can reach 92% of all CTV-viewing households in the U.S.3