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YouTube Advertising Benchmarks by Age, Device, and Industry

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Older audiences tend to pay more attention to video ads on YouTube, and they also tend to be more costly to reach, according to recent research from Strike Social.

The report was based on data from 2016 US YouTube advertising campaigns managed by Strike Social for brands in 25 industries. The researchers examined view rate (share of ads watched for at least 30 seconds/to the end), cost per view (CPV), and clickthrough rate (CTR) for each vertical as well as for various demographic segments. The analysis focused on TrueView YouTube video advertisements.

The three oldest age groups measured (age 45-54, age 55-64, and age 65+) have the average highest view rates for YouTube video ads, the analysis found.

Those older groups also have the highest CPV rates. The researchers suggest this higher cost is most likely because older audiences are smaller on YouTube compared with younger audiences, and so are more competitive to reach.

The Undefined audience—a large group of people for which YouTube does not have demographic data—has a high average view rate (VR) and a low CPV rate.


The average view rate for YouTube video ads is higher on desktop computers than on smartphones and tablets.

The average CPV rate is lower on tablets than on desktop computers and smartphones.

YouTube video ad benchmarks vary significantly among verticals, the analysis found.

For example, the average view rate for ads in the education vertical (35.4%) is nearly double that of ads in the retail vertical (15.7%).

About the research: The report was based on data from 2016 US YouTube advertising campaigns managed by Strike Social for brands in 25 industries.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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