TV has been YouTube’s fastest-growing viewership channel for several years now, but the pandemic further accelerated a streaming shift that the Google-owned platform highlighted at its 10th Brandcast event Tuesday. YouTube now represents 40% of watch time among ad-supported streamers, according to Comscore data cited by the video giant.
“Our industry is at a tipping point. There are now more streaming households in the U.S. than pay-TV households,” Allan Thygesen, president of Americas at Google, said during a pre-recorded presentation. “Looked at … another way, more than 40% of linear TV ad supply has disappeared in the last four years alone.”
During the presentation, dubbed Brandcast Delivered as part of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s all-virtual NewFronts, the company reported more than 120 million U.S. consumers streamed YouTube or YouTube TV through TV screens last December. YouTube is trying to tie its burgeoning connected TV (CTV) audience to fledging bets in other spaces fortified by the pandemic, including e-commerce.
YouTube on Tuesday previewed a feature called “brand extensions” that lets viewers request that an ad send a URL to their smartphone or other second screen to learn more about the company or product. In an announcement, YouTube said brand extensions are the first of “many” interactive TV features coming down the pike. The platform will also soon allow advertisers to integrate browsable product images in…