Google has conducted a new study alongside the Geena Davis Institute On Gender In Media (GDIGM) into various gender dynamics at play in the realm of YouTube advertising.
Google and the GDIGM — which advocates for the equal representation of women in media — studied a total of 2.7 million video ads (with 550 billion views) that were uploaded to YouTube over a four-year period ended last March across 11 different convent verticals and 51 different markets. The research concludes that while more male characters appear in YouTube ads, ads that were gender-balanced or featured more women clocked a significantly greater number of views, AdWeek reports — to the tune of a roughly 30% increase in viewership.
Beyond appearing in more ads, men were also found to have more speaking time in spots, per the study. Male characters were heard 60% of the time, while female characters were heard just 40% of the time. Another somewhat troubling finding, per the study, was that male characters in YouTube ads were often about four years older than female characters. Female characters were also roughly 9% less likely to be shown with an occupation as compared to their male counterparts.
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As a clarifying note on gender itself, Davis noted in an an accompanying blog post that “gender is not solely limited to binary definitions; this report only reflects binary gender expression based on a machine learning model that uses a data set of individuals who consented to self-identify.”
You can check out more findings from the study — whose aim is to encourage marketers to increase representation in their creative — right there.