…it will be there on YouTube tomorrow

This first thing I did this morning was peruse my Sunday morning briefing email. In minutes, I was laughing out loud at SNL skits from last night’s show. I remember when staying up late to watch the show was a tradition. Now all the skits are almost instantaneously compressed into fractions of the original viewing time. The same goes for the daily late night shows. These are now the glory days of Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Seth Meyers and James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke all being available not just at 11pm, but all day long.

It is clear the best way to generate reach is to target the best of both worlds. All of these live audience shows are still attracting audiences, but now also have to focus on extending the content’s relevance and reach for those, including Drizzy, who love their bed as much as they (once) love late night comedy.


It is not easy to attain Nieslsen metrics without paying for it, but according to this somewhat old data from the Business Insider, we have some grounding in the landscape. It appears from multiple sources that viewership is on a downward trajectory. The data NBC can track from its Youtube account reporting dashboard allows the company to slice and dice the demographic data,inclusive of: unique reach, watch time, and audibility. I don’t know how many live viewers were watching SNL last night, but there are already 654,000+ views of the youtube video of Girlfriends Game Night. While I have never seen a Late Late show with Jame Corden, I am one of 80,147,682 viewers of the Bruno Mars Carpool Karaoke video.


1-YouTube-Analytics The reality is now film and comedy students probably need to spend more time thinking about abbreviated digital content consumption translations of their extended creations. No worries. They give out Emmy’s for short form in a variety series — so it is worth the skill development. One example mentioned in this Variety article on this topic, “At Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” they call Ramin Hedayati’s group “the expansion team.” Before Trevor Noah took over as host, staffers in the group had other tasks related to the linear broadcast. Now, they work exclusively on finding new ways to talk to fans.” We all saw the writing on the wall. Whether talking to fans about how they spend their entertainment time or buyers about what soap to buy, this isn’t breaking news. It isn’t the shift from one channel to the other, it is the degree of the composition shift that I find so interesting. Unilever made their ad plans known, “Even as Unilever makes fewer ads overall, it’s making 50 percent more digital ads and spending 120 percent more on digital media than it did in 2012, Pitkethly said.” A lot happened in 2017, but I don’t know if you know this happened… “The year it actually happened: Advertisers spent more on digital than traditional TV. To be specific: Digital ad spending reached $209 billion worldwide — 41 percent of the market — in 2017, while TV brought in $178 billion — 35 percent of the market — in 2017. That’s according to Magna, the research arm of media buying firm IPG Mediabrands.”

So expect more news articles in the morning that tell you what you missed…on TV?!?!


  1. mmerckbc · ·

    Great post, Yasmin! I think the point you make is really accurate — I don’t think I’ve ever watched a full episode of a late night show. I especially liked your comment about how both producers and viewers are becoming more inclined toward “abbreviated digital content consumption.” We certainly see this mindset in the structure of the skits and interviews. Most segments are at or below that 5/6 minute mark, which makes it easy for viewers to pick and choose content that they’re most interested in and ignore the rest. This is personally one of my favorite parts of watching late night shows on YouTube – I can skip interviews with celebrities I don’t know or skits that I don’t find funny to curate an abbreviated version of the episode that is tailored to my liking. From a business standpoint, I think this method is a smart move because it keeps audiences engaged at a point in time when there is so much other content vying for our attention.

  2. danmiller315 · ·

    I think this post gets at a theme that has been discussed in a few different ways this semester: the shrinking popularity of sitting down and watching a live television show. The only thing that I feel obligated to watch live nowadays is sporting events. I think SNL and the Late Shows that you mentioned are a perfect example of this. In fact, the morning shows have been doing this for years. I can remember when I was a kid getting ready for school, the Today Show and Good Morning America would always play clips from the late night comics if that were poking fun at a trending news story. Tom Brady was on Stephen Colbert last week chugging a beer, but I didn’t even think about staying up to watch it, because I knew that I could watch it at my leisure the next day.

    As more and more people are cutting their cable cords and investing in alternative forms of entertainment and content, the rise in digital advertising is a trend that I expect to see continue for a long time. While I was not alive for it, I assume that this shift occurred in some sense when the predominant form of media shifted from the radio to the television, as advertising companies had to find ways to include visuals along with sound in their ads. I thought this was a great post and really highlights a trend that we all are responsible for participating in to some extent.

  3. katietisinger · ·

    I totally agree with you that there has been a definite shift to “abbreviated digital content consumption.” Even late night shows which show clips of other shows are condensed into clips. It seems to be this crazy cycle that continually cuts and shortens shows or videos until they are digestible in only a couple of minutes. It definitely seems consistent with our current world with very short attention spans and a desire for speed. I wonder what the future of this trend holds, as it seems we have clipped videos down to about as short as we can in order to still receive the message. I am interested to see what new ways we find to capture information or messages in videos/shows.

    Last semester in one of my classes, Joe Sabia came to talk to us. He works for Conde Nast as the VP Creative Development – Digital Channels and was the one who came up with the idea for Vogue’s “73 Questions.” This was a trend he discussed a lot, as he said so much of his job in recent years has been to figure out how to make this “abbreviated digital content” that will hold people’s attention and make an impact that leaves them coming back for more. I am going to do a post more on his perspective on digital in a future blog!

  4. tylercook95 · ·

    This is such a relevant post! It’s really hard to set aside the time to watch anything anymore, so I think the youtube videos have allowed people like college students to be able to keep up with late night shows and shows like SNL. I think it also helps people like my grandparents who no longer want to stay up late for shows like Jimmy Kimmel but want to be able to see the content at an earlier time the next day. We have touched on the idea that peoples attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter which makes things like comedy under constant pressure to keep us entertained and quickly. Videos that are over 5 min don’t always get watched all the way through unless the jokes come quick enough to capture someone’s attention. If you look at the data for longer youtube videos the last couple minutes of the videos have much less view than the videos says in the description. I wonder how long the shows will be able to continue as people become more and more demanding of content they can skip around on and have no commercials. Netflix and Hulu might start having the late night shows on their platforms which would eliminate commercials. I am surprised the live viewing for shows hasn’t gone down as far as I would have assumed. Really good post !

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