Oooof. YouTube. Sell, Wall Street. Sell Now
Tucked inside technology behemoth Alphabet’s quarterly earnings was a line item that its YouTube video platform suffered a 2% decline in advertising sales — the first decline for the unit since the Google owner began reporting the platform’s revenues in 2019. That’s a harbinger for cable and broadcast networks reporting quarterly results in the next few weeks, as well as streamers hoping to cash in on ad dollars as well as subscription fees.
Think of it this way: People with short attention spans are worth slightly less in advertising dollars than they were a year ago. These are viewers conditioned to watching content that seldom goes beyond a minute. Now, what does that mean for broadcast and cable’s media dinosaurs that bank on the big ad spend for three commercials every 15 minutes? And what does it mean for streamers like Netflix and Disney+ that are preparing to launch cheaper ad-based options in hopes of generating income from commercials as well as subscription fees?
It’s not great. This means the attention span for “The Island Boys” singing in a hot tub is sinking. And, if the attention spans of short-form video users are shrinking, the ad dollars for hit series like “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” will follow suit.