YouTube Decline A Recession Marker? See Another Wrinkle In The Digital Ad Video Economy

YouTube's first decline ever in quarterly ad revenue could be shaking up new digital players coming online -- Netflix and Disney+: YouTube ad revenue slipped 2% to $7.07 billion.

But are we missing the big picture on both those large and small screens?

For many, comparing YouTube to other streamers continues to be an apples-and-oranges thing -- a user-generated video platform versus premium TV and movie-series platforms that can garner high cost per thousands from big brand advertisers.

Plenty of new, unheard-of digital-first and smaller marketers looking for a voice find their way to YouTube.

But YouTube will talk up how many big brand advertisers continue to move media schedules there.

There are big differences for advertisers on these platforms. For example, YouTube does offer top-flight pre-roll streaming advertising messages -- with an option to skip those ads after a couple of seconds. That will not be the same experience on Netflix or Disney+.



For those with a macroeconomic point of view, however, the YouTube decline represents an ominous slowdown in the ad economy and the consumer economy overall.

We have already seen digital platforms like Facebook and Snapchat offering bleak projections of their ad-economy trends.

But much of this stems from Apple's pullback on its Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) data brands used to target and measure the effectiveness of advertising. Consumers can opt-out of any type of targeting or tracking across Apple's entire product portfolio.

Closer to home, we can observe more established streaming players to get a sense of where brand-advertising sentiment lies as we near 2023.

A better gauge would be to see where Hulu, The Roku Channel, streaming ad options from Paramount+ and Peacock land in terms of possible recessionary effects on the business.

One might not think of YouTube in these categories.  Still, the long-time ad-supported on-demand (and live programming through YouTube TV) company offers some sense of permanence and differentiation in the digital media age. 

This digital video media leader continues to provide key trends to show where advertising is going now and after a possible recession.

Recently, Nielsen's The Gauge monthly measure shows that YouTube (including YouTube TV) continues to grow and is now the top streaming platform -- at a 8.0% share, up from 7.6% in August -- topping the presumed leader in premium streaming, Netflix.

What does that mean?

Consumers looking for continued inexpensive and sometimes short forms of streaming and video content?

Quibi, you left too soon!

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