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YouTube is a sleeping giant in the OTT space

Consumers are cutting the cable cord — or never subscribing to cable in the first place — but they’re still looking to consume video content in the living room. Marketers have long known that consumers are viewing YouTube on living room screens through over-the-top (OTT) devices and connected TVs, but the size of this audience has remained unclear.

That is, until now. During our analysis of video ad performance and audience behavior across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and other digital video inventories, our analysts found that living room audiences comprise fully 14% of YouTube’s viewership.

This means that advertisers are having an outsized impact on leaned-back consumers engaged in living room viewing for far less than the cost of linear TV advertising. While YouTube doesn’t currently report on living room audiences, the platform will likely upend the OTT industry when it rolls out OTT reporting. Meanwhile, advertisers can only measure and control their OTT reach through technology partners, for now.

Our analysis, combining our insights technology and Nielsen measurement, also uncovered that on YouTube and Facebook, mobile reach is typically 3X that of desktop — indicating these platforms are highly effective at reaching on-the-go audiences on mobile devices.

For more of Pixability’s analysis on video ad performance and audience behavior across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, download our third annual report on the state of digital video advertising.

Chris Compean is Pixability's Data Insights Analyst. An MIT graduate with a long-term goal of trying to make an impact in the world, Chris was once the Texas state champion in a mental math competition.