The publication achieves a total of one billion total watch time from longer-form videos.
News brands are actively trying to reach and engage with younger audiences and its YouTube efforts are paying off. Recent figures reveal that half of The Guardian’s YouTube viewers are under 34 years old.
Talking about the publication’s efforts, Christian Bennett, Executive Editor of visual journalism at The Guardian said: “From an editorial point of view, we looked at [YouTube] as a different place to meet an audience on their own terms.
“This is where people come to watch video, so how should The Guardian look and feel there?”
The Guardian has shifted its focus to YouTube after joining the platform’s Player for Publishers scheme in 2016. The programme allows publishers to play their YouTube videos on their own sites, let them control the ad sales and keep all the revenue.
According to Tubular Labs data, subscriber growth and engagement has risen over the past year. The hike in numbers is not down to increased output, but the news brands’ production of longer videos.
In July, the channel saw engagement rates increase to nearly three times the platform’s average – as a result, The Guardian became one of the top performing YouTube news channels by engagement for that month.
YouTube is emerging as a supporter of the news industry. In 2018, it announced it would spend $25 million to help the industry bring more news to the platform. In terms of revenue, YouTube has helped increase The Guardian’s revenue, allowing the news brand to control its own ad sales for its YouTube videos, rather than having to split them with the platform.
“When it launched a few years ago, publishers were a bit wary about [Player for Publishers], there are advantages and disadvantages,” said Nic Newman, Editor of the Reuters Institute Digital News Report. “It was a bit of a gamble. There were genuine dilemmas; a lot didn’t want to be helping YouTube’s business.”
The trade-off takes consideration. For The Guardian, it has clearly paid off!