Creative Opinion: Eurovision and YouTube

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Matt Phelan, CEO of 4Ps part of NetBooster Group, on how Eurovision uses YouTube to elevate the event to a new global audience.


On Saturday, the 62nd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) was held in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, with the usual scenes of outrageous costumes, questionable performances and unexpected winners. But this year marked the first year that all stages of the singing contest were live streamed on YouTube. So why are events such as the ESC turning to live streaming platforms? Events of all sizes no longer have to rely solely on traditional TV to reach audiences who are unable to attend live shows. In the past, traditional TV came with big budgets and tricky scheduling, meaning lots of events were either priced out or simply not big enough for live coverage. However, with the rise of the internet and improved streaming capabilities, opportunities to broadcast the action live to a global audience is becoming far more accessible.

And the benefits don’t just stop there. YouTube allows events to create their own channels which can host a wide array of different content. As a result, it allows fans and audiences to get more involved in the event, offering them more content than was previously available. For example, the content was posted on the ESC channel months before the main event and included live streams, backstage videos and music videos for the individual performers.

Even before we had reached May, Italy’s contestant Francesco Gabbani’s music video had been watched over 86 million times, surpassing the likes of Celine Dion who previously held the record. This is the perfect example of how using YouTube is extending the buzz around an event but also enabling an event to tell its story through video content.


Portugal - The Winner

This is not only good news for the event and its marketing team, but it also helps attract brands. With greater amounts of content comes greater opportunities to advertise and – thanks to platforms like YouTube – also smarter ways of connecting. As advertising becomes more and more automated and data centric, hosting events on YouTube will allow brands to tap into this data and more affectively target consumers.

As such, not only will brands be able to target those who like events such as ESC, but they will also be able to target them based on the specific content they are viewing. For example, if a viewer is watching backstage content where they can watch artists getting their hair and make-up done, beauty brands can use this to their advantage. Beauty brands could either look to get their products used at the event so that the backstage content showcases the brand that way, or the brand could target their advertising on YouTube to that viewer.

With this kind of functionality, YouTube is providing events like the ESC with a platform to elevate their brand and also other brands, creating new horizons for advertising and marketing. At the very heart of this trend is storytelling – events like the ESC are using YouTube to tell their stories from start to finish. Storytelling through video content is fast becoming to most effective way to connect with audiences. So, as more and more events turn to YouTube and live streaming, the greater the opportunities there will be for brands that want to tap into these events to reach their target audiences.



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