Back in 2003 – 2004, network TV executives panicked when reports began surfacing that young males between 18 and 34 had abandoned their medium. The reason: marketers desperately cling to that demographic because its impressionable and is always ready to spend a little cash. In 2005, the networks turned to reality programming featuring scantily clad women and all the dudes came back.
It was the kind of problem Google’s video-sharing site YouTube’s never had. In fact, TubeMogul tells us that after sampling 1.2 million YouTube profiles, it determined that 56.57% of all YouTubers are male and 65.83% of them are under 25.
The only problem with having so many young males on YouTube is that YouTube let’s them talk. Scroll past any particular YouTube video and into the wilds of the comments section and you’ll find things like:
Along with the unpredictability of what will be in YouTube videos themselves, it’s those types of comments that keep advertisers away from the site, which has had a hard time justifying Google’s $1.6 billion investment.
We can imagine that many brands know they might be able reach their core customers on YouTube, but prefer TV because they know that viewers can’t hear other viewers talking about racks, their girlfriends and nerds.
Our suggestion for YouTube: Get rid of comments altogether. Or at least make them viewable only to users who opt-in to seeing them. Maybe put them a click or two away from where everyone else watches the videos. Engagement and pageviews might go down a bit, but what remains will be more attractive to advertisers.