More men appear in videos uploaded to YouTube by advertisers, but ads that were gender-balanced or featured more women tallied significantly more views, according to a study by YouTube parent Google and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.
The two parties analyzed over 2.7 million YouTube videos uploaded by advertisers between Jan. 1, 2015, and March 31, 2019, across 11 verticals and 51 markets.
Google and GDIGM then accounted for more than 550 billion views through May 31, 2019, to learn about what was watched in those 51 markets and who was featured most often in those videos.
They found that people saw male characters 56% of the time and female characters just 44% of the time.
However, videos that were gender-balanced or featured more women drew 30% more views than other videos.
Women were seen most often in ads for retail (58%), consumer packaged goods (55%) and healthcare (52%), while they appeared least in ads for automotive products (28%), business and industrial products (29%) and education and government (33%).
The gender gap extended to speaking time, as well,
Google and GDIGM found that male characters were heard 60% of the time, versus 40% for female characters, with women particularly lacking in ads for business and industrial products (21%), automotive products (24%) and education and government (26%).
Conversely, speaking time was closer for the two genders in retail (54% for women), CPG (52%) and health care (49%).