YouTube Stars More Influential, Youth SayJclarke
Published on MarketingCharts is a great account on how the millennium generation is turning to digital celebrities over TV, Music, Sport or Film ones. I for one have two young teenage daughters who consume far more YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat than any other media and they can reel off not just who are the most important YouTubers are, but also their whole lives, plus watch back to back videos of their idols and make weekends of it watching with their friends.
Is this really new? Teens always have carved their own furrow, choosing idols who influence them far more than those who the advertising brands out there think should they should like. I was a teen at end of Punk and Ska, I listened to electronic bands no one else did, loved independent film makers, and the greatest influence on me was late night John Peel. At the time it was a place on the edge of the more common 70s/80s teen, and of course there was no digital devices except a ZX Spectrum for me.
Teenagers have always had a rebellious streak, but the format for today’s rebellion isn’t creating a band it’s creating things on the Internet and good on them. They have a global stage at their fingertips, they have the tools and more importantly they have what grown ups lose, they have ‘no fear’.
The YouTubers of today started at barely 12-13 years of age and teens are growing up with them as their go-to friends, they engage, they feel at the same level, they inspire and they empathise. 4-5 years on now these YouTubers garner follower numbers brands and even TV channels wish they had; UK’s Zoella 7.5 million YouTube subscribers or the massive PewDiePie games YouTuber who has 35 million and was the second most watched channel on YouTube in 2014 with nearly 418 million views!!! (Yes that’s worth a lot of exclamation marks.)
It’s not all YouTube though, another live streaming channel that has hit the headlines lately is Twitch where PC/PS/Xbox gamers are running up huge global followings and even burnt out professional video games players (yes they exist) are moving back to garner huge incomes from the associated ad revenues and product sponsorships that they can command. Watch out Sky TV! More people can watch an online e-game tournament on there than watch a Sunday screened football match. Then add in Instagram, Vine and Twitter (now that there’s better video options in them too) and you have a digital landscape that all children through to teens are being majorly influenced with and hooked to, almost 24/7, (a bit over the top there, but try and get a 13 year old off an iPad to watch TV or go out for day when there’s something better they want to watch online, now that’s a negotiation and a half…)
Marketer’s need to take this current young generation very seriously indeed, they are truly digital natives and they are the next wave of people to join their ranks both agency and advertiser side with more knowledge and more ideas which come naturally, but still are alien to many in the establishment. Welcome and learn with them, become more agile of mind, you can’t win otherwise.
As a point of difference here at Space & Time Media we are engaging with YouTubers and the companies that set out to represent these new personalities lining up clients to work with them to have their brands seen, talked about, recommended, doing what the main stream media is not able to do, or do so well with and for Generation Y.
Read the research here – it makes interesting and thought provoking reading,
Read also here: Top 100 YouTube Channels Double Audience In a Year