Marketers are facing a challenge: more and more viewers are tuning out of traditional broadcast TV, leaving marketers wondering which platforms can provide broad reach like TV. That challenge is particularly pronounced in the U.K. as audiences move away from TV to digital platforms — in fact, for 16-24 year-olds in the U.K., average daily minutes of TV watched plummeted 15 minutes from 2017 to 2018.

Where can U.K. marketers find the reach they need to drive awareness of their brand among consumers at scale? Brands and agencies need to throw out the old marketing playbook, and follow their audience to digital platforms — and YouTube in particular is attracting the lion’s share of viewers across demographics. As we’ll highlight below, the 16-24 year-old audience in the U.K. is watching more YouTube than all broadcast TV networks combined.

When U.K. audiences want to watch digital video, they turn to YouTube

U.K. audiences continue to turn to YouTube, and eMarketer forecasts that the platform’s viewership is expected to continue increasing beyond 2024. From 2017 to 2018, U.K. audiences increased their daily YouTube viewing by 6 minutes. In addition, U.K. adults spend 13% of all time online watching YouTube.

Who is watching YouTube in the U.K.?

Nearly 100% of the 18-34 year-old audience in the U.K. watches YouTube, making it the perfect strategy for engaging the hard-to-reach younger demographic. The platform has broad engagement across income levels, and reaches across the rural and urban divide. In fact, more than half of U.K. adults between 55-64 use YouTube, highlighting the massive reach the platform offers for every marketer, no matter the persona they’re looking to target.

Younger Audiences Are Already Watching More YouTube than TV

In the U.K., the 16-24 year-old audience is watching more YouTube than all broadcast TV networks combined. This underscores the massive shift in viewing behavior that marketers must consider when building media plans — YouTube should be front and center in their video strategies, especially when seeking to engage the younger demographic.

Even the slightly-older 18-34 year-old audience is watching more YouTube than any single broadcast TV channel — and surprisingly, even more than Netflix itself. While the entire 18+ demographic is spending more time watching BBC One and ITV, YouTube is not far behind. The takeaway here is the coveted younger generation is spending very little time with traditional broadcast TV, and YouTube attracts more audience eyeballs than most broadcast TV networks in the U.K.

As audiences in the U.K. pivot away from broadcast TV, they’re still looking to consume video. Overwhelmingly, they’re turning to YouTube to occupy their time — and marketers can engage audiences and drive actions across the funnel, motivating consumers to connect with their brand by investing in a YouTube-first strategy.

Want more insights on how to reach audiences through digital video? Let’s connect to talk through your strategy.