It should come as no surprise that Movies and TV content attracts a massive audience on YouTube. The platform is the first stop for consumers looking to discover and share video content around their passions, so a highly visual space like Movies and TV is a perfect fit for YouTube.

We wanted to better understand exactly how consumers were engaging with TV & Movies content on the platform to understand what works best for advertisers. So, our insights team analyzed the Movies and TV space on YouTube to develop best practices for executing high-performing video campaigns on the platform — not only for entertainment brands, but for any brand looking to take advantage of this massive and growing content category.

Here’s what we found:

TV & Movies Rebounded after Impact from Covid

Clocking in at 8.4T views, the Movies & TV space is the third largest content category on YouTube behind Music and Hobbies/Interests. While growth slowed during 2020 as the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted studio and network schedules — resulting in fewer trailers, scenes, and other Movies & TV videos published — the space has rebounded rapidly. In 2021, the Movies & TV space saw a dramatic 362% increase in total views on YouTube, and the category is on track to grow 182% in 2022 over 2021. Advertisers should ensure they’re reaching audiences around this growing category, and should consider targeting against TV screens to connect with audiences when they’re in a leaned-back viewing mode.

Netflix Leads In Views, But Marvel Generates The Most Engagements

Netflix leans heavily into its YouTube content strategy to drive awareness and conversation around its video library. It uses YouTube to share trailers, clips, and behind the scenes content, and as a result has driven more views than any other studio, network, or publisher in the TV & Movies space on YouTube. However, Marvel has driven the most engagements (including likes, dislikes, and comments) on the platform. Advertisers should consider taking advantage of high-performing entertainment content as they develop their YouTube targeting strategies, and can work with third party partners to verify that their video strategy is reaching engaged audiences against relevant and suitable content.

Entertainment Ads Perform Best Against Music, Education, and TV Placements

When we looked at where ads for entertainment brands ran, we found that Education placements outperformed TV placements in driving view and click-through rates.The fact that Education placements beat out TV placements in view rates, and came in first should underscore to advertisers that aiming targeting against the same category as their content isn’t always the best approach. In fact, when we surveyed consumers in the US for a recent study, we found that the average YouTube viewer is watching videos across 15+ content categories. Instead of limiting scale, performance, and efficiency through narrow contextual targeting against specific categories, advertisers should utilize contextual targeting as well as audience targeting to uncover how to best reach and engage their audiences, and optimize accordingly.

Want more insights into how the Movies & TV space is growing? Let’s connect to discuss how you or your clients can leverage this growing content category to connect with your audiences.