A prominent trend over the past few years has been the massive growth of the online video sharing platform YouTube. Consumers have been turning to YouTube more and more, which is demonstrated by its becoming the second most popular search engine in April, behind its parent, Google.[i] What I find most interesting is how consumers are using YouTube.
YouTube has shed its reputation of being strictly an entertainment site. Sure, people still tune in to see popular videos such as David after the dentist, the wedding entrance dance to Chris Brown’s Forever, and the most recent Lady Gaga video (who still has the most viewed videos on YouTube as of this posting), but recent data show s consumer are also turning to YouTube for health information, providing new opportunities for healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies to engage patients, caregivers and even prescribers.
I had a chance to sit down with the healthcare team at YouTube and learn more about the trends in video watching.
- Of YouTube’s 180 million viewers, 32% watch health videos – more than food or celebrity (take that, Lady Gaga!)[ii]
- Of those viewers 79% of health consumers have watched videos about their specific health conditionii
- 93% take action after viewing health information[iii]
- 69% conduct further online research as a result of the video they watchediii
- And 60% interact with their doctoriii
So what does this mean for healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies?
It means YouTube, and online video sources provide an avenue to reach patients with condition specific information, which could include treatment options, and drive them to speak with their healthcare provider. And, opportunities exist on YouTube to provide patients with branded messages in advance of the patient-doctor conversation. Providers and pharmaceutical companies have another opportunity to reach consumers who are actively interested in receiving information on their conditions and actively searching for information.
Several companies have already ventured into this space with corporate and condition specific information. Johnson & Johnson was the first to take a step into the YouTube world, developing a corporate site and channels for their major brands. Recently Novartis followed suit, and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals launched a condition-specific page around ADHD.[iv] Based on the YouTube health data, I expect to see more healthcare companies joining YouTube’s roster soon, looking to capitalize on the opportunity.
[ii] Google & OTX, December 2009
[iii] Google & OTX, March 2008
[iv] Disclaimer: Ogilvy works with Ortho-McNeil-Jassen to support their ADHD franchise