Google Says It’s Continuing to Close the Gap Between YouTube and TV

Two-thirds of viewers pick up their phones during commercials

In its continued battle to prove it can compete—and beat—with the broadcasting behemoths, YouTube says adults are five times as likely to watch video online than they are through linear.

After surveying around 6,300 adults about their video viewing habits, Google and Ipsos Connect found that 92 percent of YouTube viewers watch the video platform on a mobile device while at home. Mobile also had a stronghold even during traditional TV viewing times—about two-thirds of respondents said they pick up their phone during a TV ad break.

Brand lift was also higher, with purchase intent being 150 percent higher from paid YouTube TrueView ads than from TV ads. Google's survey found that nearly 50 percent of internet users looked for product- or service-related videos before going to an actual store.

The results will be touted this afternoon during an Advertising Week discussion with Tara Walpert Levy, Google's vp of agency and media. Levy, in prepared remarks provided to Adweek ahead of the talk, said the average mobile viewing session on YouTube is 40 minutes—slightly longer than even a 30-minute TV show. She said the results highlight how TV and YouTube can work in tandem when it comes to media buying. (The results come on the heals of another study last month conducted with Nielsen, which found that a TV show's reach drives YouTube engagement.)

"They reinforce that instead of sequencing our buying and planning separately, first by TV, then by online video, we should look at the video opportunity bottoms up and treat the entire video ecosystem as one," she said.

Here are the results of the study: