For years, Google’s YouTube couldn’t get any respect from the TV industry. TV marketers wouldn’t go near it out of fear that their ads would be tainted by running alongside YouTube’s amateur content. And analysts and research firms treated the streaming service as separate from the rest of television when analyzing TV viewing and advertising.
How things have changed. One startling statistic shows how YouTube is now unequivocally the king of TV. Its internal data indicate that close to 45% of overall YouTube viewing in the U.S. today is happening on TV screens, according to people familiar with the matter, compared with well below 30% in 2020. That’s a radical shift for the video-streaming service, reflecting how the growth of internet-connected TVs has made it easier for people to watch streaming services like YouTube on TVs instead of on their cellphones and computers.