A lot changed in 2020 — including our media consumption habits. To understand how agencies are adapting to this changing video landscape, and unpack industry pains around YouTube and Connected TV advertising, our insights team conducted an online survey among hundreds of U.S.-based media agencies.

Here’s what we found:

TV Dollars Will Go To YouTube

Agencies overwhelmingly predict that in 2021 YouTube will win the lion’s share of TV dollars as traditional strategies pivot to digital. 82% of media agency respondents to our survey believe that YouTube (including YouTube on TV Screens) will benefit in a major way as traditional TV budgets shift away to digital, followed by Connected TV platforms Hulu and Roku.

This makes sense, as media agencies are following audiences away from linear TV to digital channels. ComScore’s OTT Intelligence Platform lists YouTube as the No. 1 and Hulu as No. 2 in Connected TV viewership, and a recent study by eMarketer showed that changing behaviors in 2020 accelerated the shift from linear to digital, in fact beating their analysts expectations.

YouTube and CTV Will See Major Increases In Ad Spend

Media agency respondents predict that YouTube and the Connected TV category at large will see major increases in media dollars in 2021. 77% of respondents predict that their clients will increase spending on YouTube — with 8% anticipating a big spike in investment. When we looked at what kind of agencies were anticipating the biggest increase in spend, we found that smaller independent agencies were much more likely (87% more, to be precise) to predict YouTube spending will rise in 2021 over the previous year.

YouTube Spend Increase Vs. Decrease

eMarketer data backs this up — their survey of client- and agency-side executives from October 2020 indicates that brands and agencies are getting ready to increase spending on YouTube. The platform tops the charts for digital platforms in expected increase in spending, while brand and agency executives foresee a decrease in spending on Facebook.

There’s lots more data to unpack in our survey of agency strategies — download the report on how media agencies are responding to the changing video landscape, and connect with us for deeper insights on the differences between Big 6 and independent agency strategies.