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Why is everyone suddenly talking about YouTube TV?

My mom texted me recently and asked about YouTube TV. She got notice that her cable bill was increasing and heard people talking about it, so she contacted her personal media expert (me) for information.


It made me think, "why is everyone suddenly talking about YouTube TV?"


As the account director of a digital-first agency, it is my job to understand all the ways you can consume media, so it's possible that it's a little more top of mind in my world.


But, since I've had friends and family asking about subscribing to it and many clients wondering about advertising on it, I thought it was a good time to address YouTube TV.


Why is the service's popularity growing and is it a good place for advertisers to reach audiences?


Image credit: WhatToWatch.com

What is YouTube TV?


YouTube TV is a streaming service that allows users to watch live TV and on-demand content. It's become a popular choice for cord-cutters looking for a more affordable alternative to traditional cable or satellite TV.


The user experience is similar cable - it offers access to local networks and most major sports channels, has a channel guide and a cloud-based DVR. This makes it a bit easier for people to dip their toes into the cord-cutting pond.


YouTube TV is not traditional YouTube. I know it's easy to do, but don't confuse the two. If you don't have a separate subscription that costs around $65 a month, you are NOT watching YouTube TV.


Why are viewers talking about it?


As this handy streaming provider comparison chart from CNET shows, YouTube TV offers access to all major local network affiliates (CBS, ABC, FOX, etc) and has more live streaming channels than any other provider.


Another big reason people are talking about YouTube TV is their recent acquisition of NFL Sunday Ticket a sports package that offers access to out-of-market NFL games on Sundays (you may have seen their keyboard cat ad during the Super Bowl). For nearly 30 years, the premium package was exclusive to rival DirecTV. YouTube TV is promising a more interactive fan experience, along with other new features.


What does all of this mean for marketers?


Currently, YouTube TV's subscriber base is still growing, so it's possible to achieve higher frequency in campaigns, which is great for brand awareness and recall. This will likely change as more advertisers become savvy to using the service and their subscriber base grows.


For our local news clients, YouTube TV is a great place to reach broadband only homes, which are measured in Nielsen ratings. So, when these viewers watch their local CBS affiliate on YouTube TV, for example, their viewership is counted in the ratings.


YouTube TV's ads are similar to cable or satellite, they are typically :30 video ads that are inserted into commercial breaks. The process is mostly seamless to the viewer.


The service does have a minimum spend requirement which can be restrictive for some advertisers, and a few other limitations related to when campaigns can run, audience targeting and how often creative can be changed.


We have been working closely with our Google representatives to learn about this platform so we can make recommendations to our clients and help them decide if YouTube TV is right for their media mix.


If you're wondering if YouTube TV (or any other media) is right for your needs, let's chat!


Oh, and if you're curious about my mom's decision -- she's officially a cord-cutter and enjoying YouTube TV so far!

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