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Google says that YouTube ads are 80% more effective than TV ads

Published Apr 20th, 2016 9:14AM EDT
YouTube Ads vs TV Ads
Image: YouTube

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Want to know one surefire way to anger the TV industry? Tell them that their commercials aren’t all that effective. That’s exactly what Google claims in a new report, in which the company analyzed ad campaigns across eight countries to find that YouTube ads were more effective than TV ads 80% of the time.

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According to The Guardian, the 56 cases studies from Google and its research partners show that advertisers should be spending six times more of their budgets on YouTube advertising than they already do in order to maximize efficiency.

“We found that while TV maintains a powerful impact in the digital age, digital video is under-invested in several categories we measured in the UK, France and Germany,” said Lucien van der Hoeven, general manager EMEA at MarketShare, one of Google’s research partners for the study.

Google and its partners are suggesting that advertising budgets should be reallocated. As you might expect, the TV industry was not happy about this.

“The true value of TV advertising is not just its return on investment [getting people to buy stuff], but that it achieves the best return on investment at the highest levels of investment,” said research and planning director Matt Hill from Thinkbox, a TV marketing body based in the UK. “TV builds brands better than anything else and creates the most profit.”

Hill even went so far as to claim that the quality of user-generated content of YouTube couldn’t compare to the dramas, comedies and other prestige shows on TV networks. Therefore, (presumably) advertisers would be less likely to associate their brands with a Minecraft YouTuber or a life vlogger as opposed to Better Call Saul or The Big Bang Theory.

It’s not an entirely inept argument, but YouTube continues to attract higher quality advertising partners in greater and greater numbers every year. If the TV industry wants to stop the bleeding, it’s going to need a better argument.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.