YouTube has conducted new audience research in New Zealand with the help of Ipsos and TNS. The team conducted 750 surveys and 15 in-home ethnographic interviews around the country, to better understand how and why people spend time on YouTube.
Google New Zealand country manager Caroline Rainsford says the company has conducted this type of research in other markets, but it’s the first time it’s been run in New Zealand. She says Google will look to invest in similar research in the future, to help aid brands and advertisers working with the platform.
“With the phenomenal movement of New Zealanders towards YouTube, it’s important that we keep highlighting the culture and the trends that are prevalent on YouTube. It’s great for Kiwis to understand it but it’s also really important for our brands and advertisers to understand how people are using the platform.”
According to Roy Morgan findings, YouTube is New Zealand’s most-loved online video channel, and more that 2.2 million Kiwis access the platform every month. Internationally, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine – after Google.
Rainsford says YouTube is now the number one channel in New Zealand in daily reach for the under 40 demographic – with 74 percent reach compared to 32 percent reach on TV.
The other area where YouTube is particularly strong is with the Maori, Asian and Pacific Island communities in New Zealand, where it is also the number one channel.
“For a lot of the advertisers we work with, these audiences are particularly important and they’re growing in importance for them. We’ve been talking with New Zealand advertisers about understanding their audiences, and they can do that through their first-party data, but also Google data to really understand who they’re targeting.
“We’re really encouraging people to think about the way they plan traditional media differently with this enormous prevalence of online video in New Zealand and with these audiences leaning so heavily into platforms like YouTube.”
Rachael Powell, from Google’s insights and analytics team in Sydney says the research was timely because of the number of advertisers trying to get a good understanding of the breadth of people using the platform.
“This interesting thing is everyone has a really personalised experience when they go to YouTube. It’s an individual journey and the user defines what is important to them. But we were able to see a couple of over-arching themes by life stages coming out consistently.”
The research focused on three key demographics: parents, Generation X (1961-1981) and Millennials (1981-1996).
The research shows that Kiwis are using YouTube to be educated, inspired and entertained. In the parents demographic, YouTube has become the go-to place for them to learn, with 71 percent of parents turning to YouTube for parenting guidance. Sixty-nine percent of parents on YouTube use it to get a moment to themselves, and 80 percent watch videos with their child.
“We’re seeing a prevalence of people having a close relationship with their children, and YouTube is a place parents go to bond with their children, particularly offline. They’ll go to watch a baking video or science experiment and then they’ll go and do those things offline. It allows parents to spend time in their kids’ worlds as well,” Powell says.
The Millennial demographic tend to use YouTube as a place to get behind the headlines of a news story, and be able to make up their own mind, with 58 percent of Millennials on YouTube believing it is a place they can hear different viewpoints on current events.
Fifty-seven percent of Millennials on YouTube believe it’s a place where they can access knowledge and learn new career skills, and 75 percent go to YouTube to connect.
“Millennials are a really globalised generation and they like to connect with people outside of their immediate surroundings. They can use YouTube to connect with people that share interests, like fitness communities,” Powell says.
Generation X have slightly different motivations for using YouTube and have a more uniquely functional relationship with the platform. Seventy-six percent use it to solve an immediate problem, while 71 percent go to YouTube to engage with their passions or hobbies.
“YouTube is also a place where they can rediscover their memories, and 45 percent watch YouTube when they want to relieve parts of their children. Generation X has a passion for nostalgia as they’ve seen the pace of change be so rapid.”
Rainsford also announced that a programme of YouTube creator workshops will be launched in New Zealand next year. The first-of-their-kind workshops will take place in seven locations around the country, including the regions, and aim to create the new wave of YouTube creators in New Zealand.
Rainsford says the workshops will help talented Kiwis create businesses and share New Zealand’s creative culture with the rest of the world.
“It’s a nod to the fact that we’re really proud of the creative excellence that we have in this country ad we want to provide them with local support to be able to lead on this platform. The reality is that the media environment is massively changing and this is a great platform for people to build off.”