According to YouTube trends and new research, connected TV is not only changing viewer behaviour — it’s changing the boundaries of TV
as we know it.

With the proliferation of connected TV (CTV), the TV screen is becoming the device of choice for all sorts of video.

Over 25 million people streamed YouTube on their TV screens in Great Britain in May 2021, and over 25% of logged-in British YouTube connected TV viewers watched content almost exclusively (>=90%) on the TV screen.1

“I think my definition of TV has changed through the years. It used to only mean broadcast television. Now it has expanded to mean all different kinds of content and entertainment, whether TV, video, podcasts, or whatever.” — Rita B.

How viewers define TV is changing.

It’s clear that part of the draw of connected TV is the same as what attracts people to digital video in general: control and choice. These variables allow people to create their own personal viewing schedules
and routines.

Content
people love

“Before I had internet-connected TV, my viewing experience never felt particularly tailored to me. If I could find something I could enjoy or learn from, I'd feel fortunate. Whereas now, with internet-connected TV, I can find exactly what I want whenever I want.” — Pablo K.

63%

of people interviewed describe good content as something personal and relevant.2

“I find that I go through certain moods where I may really want to view something lighthearted vs. something serious. And
I appreciate that now I can address those moods, because of on-demand services and streaming, and I’m not locked in to
a particular [channel’s] schedule.” — Rita B.

66%

of those who watch YouTube on TV with others have created a routine around it.3

Connected TV’s allure goes beyond the ability to find more of the content you love. For many people, an important element is the ability to connect, whether it be to family, community, or culture.

Re-creating
the shared TV experience

“Growing up in an ethnic family in which English wasn't our first language, it was harder or more expensive to get content in our own native language, Cantonese/Chinese in this case.” — Wayne L.

This idea of connection is what’s motivating
a number of people to augment their YouTube viewing from phone or tablet to the TV.

“I have started watching YouTube on the TV with the shows my daughter likes. … I spend more time with her doing what she enjoys. It benefits us because some of the shows we watch are interactive and it’s bonding time for us, which I love.” — Courtney S.

72%

of people interviewed said they achieve deeper connections when they watch YouTube with others.4

My husband retired last year right before the pandemic hit. We have watched a lot of online content about BBQ techniques [and] cooking ideas, and how-to videos on how to fix things ourselves. … [It] makes me feel more connected to others, as we have things to discuss, and this gives us the chance to get to know more about each other.” — Johnsa D.

66%

feel like they are opening themselves up to others when they watch YouTube on TV with them.5

Even YouTube Creators are noticing an increase of viewing on the TV screen. We spoke to six stars — who together have a combined subscriber base of over 20 million people worldwide — about the trend.

Watch The Video

“I know some of our audience likes to watch our videos on the go, but I also know that we have a huge, growing demographic of people that save our videos until they get home from work, or until they really have
a break to sit back, put the content on the TV and enjoy it — which makes me
so happy.” — Kelsey MacDermaid, The Sorry Girls

“It's fun to think that people might watch my videos on a TV screen. I mean, the bigger the screen, the bigger the honor.”
— Simone Giertz

53%

64%

Only 16%

"For me, TV is any type of device, streaming service, [or] satellite or cable service — and let’s not forget the actual TV — that allows us to view and listen to shows and/or music.” — Carla J.

say their definition of TV includes streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube.6

say YouTube is TV when viewed on their TV.7

say TV must be professionally produced.8

BY Patrice Harvey

Head of YouTube Sales, U.K. & Ireland

CREDITS

Designer: Kate McManus; Editor: Ken Wheaton; Product Lead: Casey Fictum; Production Lead: Jenny Maughan; Research Manager: Sarah Ashley.

NEXT STORY

U.K. consumers expect brands to adopt sustainable practices