Despite the advent of Facebook Live and emerging video platforms, YouTube remains the leading digital video platform and has maintained its strong appeal to US millennials—a group that adopted the digital video streaming platform early on.
According to eMarketer.com, 54% of 18 to 34 year-olds visit YouTube at least once per day, making it the third-most popular social media platform for daily usage among this age group.
While it is anticipated that YouTube's net US video ad revenues will reach $2.59bn in 2017, accounting for 20% of total US video ad revenues this year- the largest share by far of any single company, viewers are also seeing a fair amount of advertising on the site.
A survey this past December by online survey platform LaunchLeap asked 'just how engaged with the ads are millennials?' The survey found that respondents were most likely to watch a YouTube ad until they could skip it, with 59% of respondents doing so.
LaunchLeap’s survey found that only 11% of US millennial internet users were blocking YouTube ads via an ad blocker, though other research showed that general ad blocking usage is much higher.
July 2016 research from Anatomy Media showed that 63% of US millennial internet users have an ad blocker installed on at least one device, while older research published in 2016 from Reuters Institute conducted by YouGov found that 44% of US internet users aged 18 to 24 and 29% of 25 to 34 years-old used ad blockers.
Whatever the actual rate of millennial use of ad blockers, the LaunchLeap survey results show marketers that YouTube should be a key part of video ad strategy for most brands looking to connect with younger audiences. Given the rate of ad skipping, marketers might also want to front-load key ad content into the first few seconds when the ads are actually being viewed.