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Is YouTube KILLING Live TV?

Posted by jabrieel on July 7, 2014

April of this year, Adroit Digital conducted a survey of adults 18 and older. They found YouTube was a more popular tool for video watching than live TV. The survey also suggested users would drop their cable subscriptions if online video providers could satisfy their TV show needs. I believe the data from the survey is legitimate. At the same time, there are a few things to keep in mind:

I stopped watching live TV in ’08. I signed up with Hulu and YouTube to satisfy my video needs. If I want to watch the latest movie or TV show, I do a Google search and find a website to download and watch it. I turned my TV into a monitor for my PlayStation video games and a big screen for what I watch on my laptop.

It makes sense that YouTube is more popular than live TV. Live TV is one-dimensional. YouTube is not. If you’re a child, teenager, or adult and you don’t know how to do something, you can ask someone else in your house. For example, if someone asked me how to tie a tie and I don’t know how, I’d point them to YouTube. They’d have a solution to their dilemma in 30 seconds to 6 minutes max.   

 Not only that, if I want to watch an old movie made from the 1920’s to early 2000’s I can probable find it on YouTube (it might be cut into segments, but it’s free.). They’ve even got foreign films from Bollywood, Nollywood, Hong Kong, you name it.

Because of this the implications for communications are  that businesses need to know, learn and continue to monitor their audiences. One fraction of their target audience may be using live TV, while another segment spends the bulk of their time on YouTube, and another with other online video providers. This is a great opportunity for savvy digital marketers to segment their audiences and hit them when and where they’re at.

This also implies that cable networks need to continue to consider ways they can adapt. Numerous networks have partnerships with Hulu and Netflixs that allow streaming of syndicated and/or current TV shows and movies. These are available for viewing a few days or weeks after they air or come out in the theater. Because of this, I believe cable networks will continue to adapt and cable providers will ultimately be cut out of the equation. People will be able to sign up directly on a cable network’s website. Businesses will have the option of purchasing ad space through online provider platforms and/or purchase product placement space in TV shows and movies owned by the cable networks.



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