Top influencers reach twice as many Gen Zers on social as do top broadcasters
Broadcasters have generally not fared well during the pandemic, Just this week, the Oscars saw its worst TV ratings ever. Now, a new study shows broadcasters' social media efforts are paling in comparison to the impact of influencer content, especially when it comes to reaching the sought-after Gen Z audience with videos.
The study from social video analytics firm Tubular Labs analyzed the unique U.S. viewers across the top 10 influencer and broadcast accounts on YouTube and Facebook in March, as well as the minutes watched across the top 1,000 influencer, media and brand accounts over the past year. Overwhelmingly, influencer-created social videos soared above competition as the U.S. dealt with COVID-19 lockdowns over the past year.
The study cements the fact that younger audiences prefer content from their favorite influencers to that of daytime or nighttime broadcast programs. Broadcast shows like “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Ellen” have ramped up appearances from social influencers on their programs to cater to Gen Zers over the past year, but their reach is still falling behind.
Last month in March alone, the top 10 influencer and influencer-driven channels reached 29% of the Gen Z audience with 150 million unique viewers, twice as much as the 14% reach (71 million unique viewers) of the top 10 broadcast channels.
The top influencers and broadcasters were selected through Tubular’s Audience Ratings metric which determines U.S. unique viewers and minutes watched across YouTube and Facebook by measuring de-duped viewership of Gen Zers 13 to 24 years old. The results are not based on subscriber reach or number of followers.
The top 10 influencer and influencer-driven channels include: Viral World, Viral Queens, TikTok Vibes, TikTok Web, MrBeast, Rick Lax, More of Dtay Known, Klem Family, Lil Durk and Dhar Mann. The top 10 broadcasters include: Movieclips, Inside Edition, Netflix, ABC News, Sesame Street, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Ellen DeGeneres, Taste Life, Entertainment Tonight and The Late Late Show with James Corden.
Over the past year, influencers also saw the most minutes watched on their social videos across age sectors, overpowering the numbers from media companies and brands among the top 1,000 influencers, media companies and brands on YouTube and Facebook.
From March 2020 to March 2021, minutes watched on influencer-created videos surged by 26%, from 105 billion minutes watched at the start of the pandemic to 133 billion minutes watched by March 2021.
Comparatively, media companies including TheDodo, LADbible, WWE and ABCNews, saw the minutes watched on their social videos rise by only 3%, from 78 billion minutes watched in March 2020 to 80 billion minutes watched by March 2021. Brands, including LEGO, Nintendo, Peppa Pig, Coca-Cola and Red Bull, saw even less of an uptick, with only a 2% growth, with 10 billion minutes watched in March 2020 and roughly the same 10 billion minutes watched in March 2021.
Katharina Fischer, senior content insights manager at Tubular Labs, says there are more opportunities for broadcasters to leverage influencers and user-generated content.
“Influencers know how to reach the young audiences seen on social media and broadcasters often struggle with keeping younger audiences engaged, so working with influencers and learning from them is something media companies and broadcasters should consider for determining their social strategy,” says Fischer.
Already, broadcast shows have begun to experiment with bringing on social stars and using the content on social media to reach Gen Zers. In March 2020, TikTok’s Charli D’Amelio first appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Today, the video on YouTube has 18.6 million views. Similarly, in September 2020, Addison Rae appeared on “Ellen” in a video that now has 2 million views. And Sarah Cooper appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in Oct. 2020 in a video that now has nearly 700,000 views.