The first five seconds of an ad is very important, says YouTube’s Director of Content Partnerships for Southeast Asia Vishal Sarin. The clarity of a work and its ability to capture attention will decide whether a viewer clicks the skip-ad button or not.

“I see ads from different countries, the best ads in YouTube are ones that in the first five seconds,  you’ve made a very compelling message,” Sarin told adobo magazine.

Over the last few years, YouTube has seen an immense growth, not just in the number of viewers but also in creators kickstarting their channels and brands going digital. Thus, advertisers are turning their eyes to the platform that has been untapped for years.

However, Filipinos were not the heaviest consumer of videos due to expensive data and slow internet connection. To turn this around,  they partnered with telco Smart Communications to enable Filipinos to watch content they love without the anxiety of having to pay exorbitant fees. 

“Partnering with YouTube enabled us to grow our business and at the same time connect more Pinoys to relevant and useful videos every day, creating meaningful impact to the lives of our customers,” said Oscar Reyes, Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Market Development at PLDT and Smart.  

Sarin chimed in “We always believe our strength is content diversity. It cannot be content of a particular kind.”

Anchoring on this, they pushed on to partner with mainstream media to include the content of traditional channels in their wide spectrum. 

The cross-screen world proved to be an effective strategy to broadcast media networks ABS-CBN and GMA, with the  two making it to the five broadcast media recipients of YouTube’s Diamond Creator Award, a milestone for channels who have reached more than 10 million subscribers. 

“This week my favorite channel is ABS-CBN and GMA. I watch all my partners’ content, I love to see what they’re doing, the kind of content they’re uploading, the kind of engagement they’re getting,” Sarin shared to adobo magazine.

Before the digital age, the two broadcast giants have been the measure of what consumption should be like; every time slot would be paired with news, entertainment variety shows, talk shows and prime time.   

This changed when YouTube came into play; today, Filipino users can customize their viewing habits to tailor their personal interests, passions and current needs.  

“In YouTube, the consumption does not spike for a few hours. It clearly shows that primetime is not limited to a few hours of the day, primetime is very personal,” he surmised.

The qualities of YouTube allow users to choose what they want to see, when they want to see, on which device they want to see. Users can find on YouTube what they miss on television, they can find on YouTube the music they discover on the radio.

However, Sarin believes that the power of the platform does not stop there.  For him, YouTube is challenging the concept of living room in a sense that it is no longer just a place where one can watch but also a place where one can create.

“We are entering the new world where you can be yourself and you can be a star all by yourself. In your living room, you can create a fanbase not just in your country but across the world. Living room is no longer restricted to your 8:00 p.m. sitting down in the living room. People are consuming content at their own time so that’s the new living room,” Sarin adds.

The breaking of the conventional norm for traditional channels is just the beginning for YouTube. The democratization of creativity that YouTube brings only strengthens the platform’s content diversity. Be it by unboxing and reviewing gadgets, or talking about food, Sarin said on YouTube creators: We want them to unleash the creativity of their own.

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