YouTube Sounding Off

Last week I read a Drum article about YouTube criticising Facebook for endorsing adverts without sound.

You can read it yourself here.

It’s used as a platform for YouTube to gloat about their effectivity, but primarily, it states the obvious. It seems pretty clear (to many, I would think), that most people consume YouTube and Facebook in completely different ways.

On YouTube, you’re most likely to already have sound activated because you’re prepared to enjoy engaging video content. Similarly, you’re going to expect to spend 5 seconds minimum watching an advert to get to that content — by now, it’s a pretty ingrained format. Gone are days of playing Snake with the buffering circle.

On Facebook, you’re more likely to be consuming content on the go, in a public space (aka at work), or when enjoying a moment of peace and quiet. You’re also just as likely to be having a quick scroll through the newsfeed at a social occasion, or watching television (I mean why we wouldn’t want to take in as much information as possible at once?!). In these scenarios, a noisy advert is a lot more intrusive. It’s not necessarily what we signed up for.

So I don’t really see YouTube’s point.

Peter Cory (Google’s agency leader) then went on to state how much more targeted they can be than television, which seems pretty self-explanatory given it’s a digital platform. It’s no secret that there’s much more opportunity to target specifically and effectively online.

But YouTube also need to consider to who. Bragging about reaching all those desirable and impressionable 18–34 year olds is great, but many other valuable generations still consume traditional television, and traditional advertising (..and they’re also likely to be on Facebook).