Is YouTube the best suited to become the ultimate aggregator? 

According to Nielsen’s Gauge last report, YouTube was the top streaming platform in May 2024, ahead of Netflix, regarding monthly viewing time across every platform (9.7% against 7.6% for Netflix). YouTube also appeared as the second media company, close behind Disney’s whole portfolio of assets (ESPN, ABC, Hulu, Disney+), and ranked higher than other media conglomerates NBC Universal, Paramount, or Warner Bros. Discovery. If comparing YouTube with subscription-based streaming platforms such as Netflix on their respective number of users would not make sense, given the fundamental difference in their business models, comparing viewing time is far more consistent, in an entertainment world, where TV and OTT platforms are fighting for eyeballs, whatever the device or the business model. Yet, Alphabet’s platform is often overlooked and not considered one of - if not the main – competitors to TV networks and streaming platforms. But even that assumption would not do justice to YouTube’s real potential: becoming the ultimate aggregator.  YouTube, already an advertising juggernaut If we try go beyond usage perspectives, where YouTube is undisputably the largest video platform on the planet, let’s look at other elements to assess its ability to become the one-stop shop destination for entertainment and potentially other commodities. YouTube yields benefits from great ad tech and ad capabilities, which is crucial, at a time when all SVOD giants are trying to drive the biggest audience toward their ad tiers, and TVOS players to leverage ads on the CTV interface. In 2023, YouTube generated USD 31.5 billion (almost EUR 30 billion) in advertising revenues alone, keeping its crown as the largest video advertiser globally. They’re also only one piece of Alphabet’s whole portfolio of products, to appeal to advertisers, should it be relatively small regional advertisers or major international FMCG groups for example. With ad dollars shifting to CTV and/or social video, YouTube is increasingly focusing on the big screen as a way to drive CPMs higher. YouTube can benefit from its global footprint and distribution Unlike other major streaming platforms – besides maybe Netflix – that find it hard to expand globally, their domination is worldwide, and not limited to some key territories enjoying a high penetration of streaming services. In Europe, YouTube generated an estimated EUR 7.7 billion in 2023, accounting for a whopping 60% market share. It grew revenues by 16% year-on-year, in line with the rest of the segment.  The platform remains the biggest threat to European TV broadcasters, especially as it is putting a growing emphasis on premium content and consistently growing its ARPUs across the region. This global presence has also to be seen in the light of their distribution. CTV is becoming the number-one source of content consumption, outperforming other...

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