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    March 25, 2024
    YouTube: Social Media or TV Provider?

    In an era where the lines between traditional TV and social media blur, YouTube stands
    out as a central hub for all modern-day viewers, challenging the status quo with its mix
    of live videos, creator-driven stories, and endless streaming options. The fact that
    YouTube has become the go-to source of entertainment indicates a dramatic change in
    the way that people see and interact with television in the modern era. Because of its
    variety of material, including user-generated videos and live sports, YouTube is slowly
    replacing traditional TV as the go-to source for consumers.¹ While traditional TV
    providers have to adjust to changing viewer preferences, YouTube’s advancements in
    this area shows the platform’s growing dominance and influence over traditional

    The YouTube Effect: Shaping Media & Television

    YouTube is blurring the lines between video streaming and social media, creating a
    space where viewers can interact, share, and connect over content. Its ability to suggest
    related videos and promote collaborations among creators and businesses sets it apart,
    transforming it into a social hub as well as a video platform.² This dual role helps
    YouTube transcend traditional social media, making it a powerful tool for engagement
    and marketing.

    On the viewership front, YouTube has a staggering 2.7 billion monthly users globally,
    with the numbers steadily increasing as it attracts new users each year. On a daily basis,
    around 122 million users log in to watch, share, and engage with videos, highlighting
    YouTube’s strong and expanding presence in the digital world.³ YouTube’s CEO, Neal
    Mohan, mentioned that viewers around the world now spend over 1 billion hours daily
    watching YouTube content on their TVs.

    In the competitive landscape of TV providers, YouTube TV has quickly ascended to the
    fourth spot with 8 million subscribers, surpassing Dish and trailing closely behind
    DirecTV. Its rapid growth, highlighted by a surge of 600,000 new subscribers in one
    quarter, positions itself as a strong contender to climb higher in the rankings. Moreover,
    a recent collaboration with NFL Network, highlighted by securing the NFL Sunday Ticket,
    showcases the company’s strategic expansion into sports content. This momentum
    indicates YouTube TV’s growing influence and potential to become a top player in the
    TV provider landscape.

    Gen Z and Gen Alpha Redefining YouTube

    With younger audiences, particularly Gen Z and Gen Alpha, turning away from traditional
    TV in favor of YouTube, the platform’s vast and varied content is gaining traction in the
    streaming industry. Because it is increasingly desirable to capitalize on this younger
    target demographic, social media sites like YouTube are appealing to the wants and
    needs of Gen Z and Gen Alpha—who will shape consumer behavior in the future.5
    Similarly, Gen Z is showing a liking for watching shopping content on social media
    platforms such as YouTube and Instagram. Gen Z strongly favors YouTube, with 62%
    daily engagement, pointing out its critical role in shaping their viewing behaviors and
    purchasing decisions. According to a Nielsen report, YouTube is becoming more and
    more dominant in the U.S. TV streaming industry, which highlights a change in
    consumer behavior.

    Over half of Gen Alpha is actively engaged with shopping content on digital platforms
    from their TV, showing the growing influence of social media and online influencers.
    According to a recent Morning Consult survey, 56% of Gen Alpha indicated they watch
    unboxing or haul videos and other shopping-related content. Further, 79% of children
    between the ages of five and seven, and 76% between the ages of eight and nine asked
    for something they had seen on TV.

    Predictions & Takeaways

    YouTube TV is on a fast track, having secured a spot as a top TV provider with 8 million
    subscribers—thanks to strategic moves like acquiring networks that appeal to a
    massive fan base. This growth shows YouTube’s potential to scale up in the competitive
    TV landscape. However, it faces hurdles like keeping content fresh and managing the
    complex world of content licensing and partnerships.
    YouTube is transforming, moving beyond its social media origins to become a
    comprehensive TV provider. This expansion into traditional TV territory means it’s not
    just about uploading and sharing videos anymore—YouTube is becoming a go-to place
    for a variety of entertainment, including live sports and studio-produced shows.


    Written By: Jessica Carrasco, Josue Saldana, Ryan Distaso