Online Content Videos Exceed 50 Billion Monthly Views in December 2013

comScore, via the Video Metrix report, has stated that, for the first time ever, a single month of online video viewing has purportedly topped 50 billion video views. I say purportedly because, as we are all aware by now, it’s not really the truth based on the way that they choose to track video views. Any 3-second viewing of a video is included, multiple views are included for a single piece of content, etc. Here’s their definition once again:

A video is defined as any streamed segment of audiovisual content, including both progressive downloads and live streams. For long-form, segmented content, (e.g. television episodes with ad pods in the middle) each segment of the content is counted as a distinct video stream. Video views are inclusive of both user-initiated and auto-played videos that are viewed for longer than 3 seconds.

So while it may be 50 billion views by that metric, it’s most probably a lot, lot less in terms of what other people consider a piece of video content, for example, an episode of a television show. A single episode on Hulu is accounting for 3 or more views in the comScore Video Metrix based on the number of ad pods (n) which means (n+1) video views, so please take 50 billion views with a large grain of salt. Five ad pods in a single episode then results in six reported video views.

Facebook Overtake AOL in Battle For Top Online Video Content Property, But Both Still Miles Behind Google

The total increase over November is just over 5 billion views, with a drop in minutes per viewer of just around 13 minutes per along with a drop in total viewers of almost a million. So in a nutshell less people spent less time watching videos online in December than November, yet generated 5 billion more views at least according to comScore.

The real news in the numbers is Facebook who, remarkably, bumped AOL for second place. But there’s a reason for that because comScore notes:

Facebook’s December 2013 online video viewership, particularly the number of video views, is substantially higher than prior months due to both organic and inorganic factors. The largest (and inorganic) source of increase is the recent inclusion, following a technical validation effort, of a significant volume of short (typically 6-second) Vine videos that have been uploaded to Facebook. The other, and currently less significant, factor is the limited roll-out in December of auto-play videos in the Facebook News Feed.

Facebook minutes per viewer also went up from 28 to 50 in a single month, and in addition they added 13 million viewers and nearly tripled the amount of views. So those autoplay videos are counting as views clearly. I suppose that hypothetically, they were in the viewing window of the browser and could, again hypothetically, have been viewed by someone. But that’s a lot of hypotheticals on which to base such important numbers.Still, it’s no more shaky than their 3-second rule for video views I guess. This is all information to take into account when you use these numbers for business or for ad buying.

top us ad video content properties dec 2013

 

Video Ad Networks Explode?

It was just like a year ago when a single video ad network broke the 1 billion ads in a month mark. Now, if you’re not reaching that mark, you don’t make the top ten. Well, OK, there is still one spot in the top ten below that mark which is Videology with 991 million video ads in December 2013. At the top end of the spectrum is AOL with over 4 billion video ads in December. We should start a pool on who hits 5B first and then another for 10B video ads.

The whole video ad industry, at least those tracked by comScore, accounted for 35,235,361,000 video ads, roughly 0.67 video ads per comScore video view. That’s roughly an ad per 1.5 video views. December also saw an average frequency of 204.1 video ads per viewer for 55.6% of the US population. That boils down to a video ad every 5.7 minutes and an average ad length of 0.38 minutes or 23 seconds. Finally, video ads accounted for 40.2% of all videos viewed, which is misleading due to their determination of a video view. It’s probably more like 3:1 ads to video content files views. For example, if every video viewed and tracked by comScore was bisected with an ad pod, the total video file views fall to 26.2 billion, while video ad views remain at 35.2B. Granted, comScore also states that the average online content video is 4.2 minutes. 5.7% of all time viewing videos last month online, was watching ads.

top us video ad properties dec 2013

 

 

Top YouTube Partner Channels: VEVO Still Triumphant

Has anyone ever wondered if there’s a YouTube channel that’s not a YouTube Partner channel but is getting more than 16.3 million uniques per month? Either way, none can top VEVO most likely, what with its 38,460,000 unique viewers a month which is about 20.4% of all video viewers online and roughly 11.4% of the US population. They average 51.1 minutes each. SureMaker Studios has 72.2 minutes each for their 24.7 million uniques, but they’re a full 100 million videos behind per month. Fullscreen put up a good fight as well with 27.3M uniques, and 40.9 minutes average but showed just 358.3M videos. The one stat I would like to see in this chart is total uniques for these channels. Because as far as we can tell there are just 38.46M unique viewers for all of them which is just 20.4% of all Google/YouTube video viewers. Really, it has to be more like 50% given the wide range of topics for the top ten channels.

top youtube channels dec 2013

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Online Content Marketing Trends to Watch Out For in 2014

2013 saw some pretty interesting changes in the world of online content marketing.

Possibly the largest was the rolling out of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm in August (possibly the biggest change in search since 2001), hurting many ‘black hat’ marketers, while at the same time, serving to elevate niche websites within the SERPs; creating an even playing field between what some have compared to ‘good vs evil’.

But besides upgrades and amendments to Hummingbird, what does 2014 have in store for the world of content marketing?

1. Video Content is going to take off in a big way

Though we’ve got just about all that we can out of the likes of infographics, the mainstream emergence of apps such as Vine  and even Snapchat is somewhere things are looking to grow – which is especially great for marketers who rely on visual media to connect with their audiences.

To add to this, many agencies are beginning to realise that video marketing isn’t as expensive as it used to be, and if done right, it can be sent and well received through almost any channel.

If you aren’t convinced yet, a single video (lasting 1:31) of Felix Baumgartner’s space dive has so far given Red Bull an extra 35 million views on their primary YouTube channel alone.

 2. Whether you like it or not, Google+ is about to get bigger

Though the significance and worth of Google+ is currently up for debate, the world’s second largest technology company isn’t about to drop its bone yet.

In terms of outreach, social media is basically mandatory via Twitter etc. anyway, but technology experts are predicting a greater reliance on what is deemed to be the second largest social networking site after Facebook.

Largely due to advancements with Google Authorship (though it doesn’t help rankings yet), Google+ is set to be one of the defining elements of social and content outreach by the end of next year. Indeed, if marketers don’t want to be left behind, then forgetting about Google+ could be deadly.

3. In some sectors, content will become more exclusive to certain people

Although for the moment, people are pretty much free to consume as much content as they want (besides those who read The Times and other subscription based media), marketers are expected to incorporate select audiences for their brands – incorporating the idea that exclusive content is better content, and therefore, far more valuable for both the audience and the brand.

By providing exclusives such as articles, offers, games and videos to only a privileged few (thousand), marketers will be looking to heighten trust signals, quality and value during 2014 on this basis.

4. The area is going to grow massively next year.

If someone was to say that there would be only a marginal growth to be had in 2014, they would probably be wrong. In the United States, 60 per cent of businesses already use some form of content marketing as part of their overall strategy.

And this is set to increase to the point where the overused and increasingly stale motto of ‘content is king’ will not be just a buzz phrase on internet blogs, but a mandatory and widely accepted fact.

In addition to this, according to a survey by the Marketing Institute, 48% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets into 2014.

Amidst fierce competition, getting it right will be imperative.

5. The job market for content creation is set to explode

Whether in-house or agency based, one of the top marketing jobs of 2014 is tipped to be ‘Director of Content, with many writing, video and editing jobs set to open up as the year continues.

Indeed, in HubSpot’s Fifth Annual Review of Inbound Marketing, the company states that the top marketing job of 2014 may well be Director of Content, and they aren’t the only ones making the claim.

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YouTube Best-Practices to Drive Views

Here are some good things to follow when running your YouTube channel:

1. Run your YouTube channel like Facebook

Find the best time of day to post a video on your channel.  You can do this by manually analyzing your subscribers to see when they’re watching.  This can be a tedious thing to weed through; services like vidIQ monitor this for you and give you a graph that shows you what time is best.  Anyway, figuring out the best time to launch a video helps get that important early, heavy traffic that YouTube likes.

2. Tags and Video SEO Matter

The number 1 and 2 drivers of traffic on YouTube is search and related videos.  The only way YouTube can position your video in search and to put it in the coveted “related videos” column is by knowing what your video is about and finding like-minded videos to associate it with.

Three Proven YouTube Best Practices to Drive Views [Creators Tip #99]

Fact: 58% of YouTube viewers discover a video because of Search and Related videos. In other words, SEO must be part of your YouTube marketing strategy.

Also, the more the (relevant) tags, the more the views.  vidIQ was finding people putting 4 tags on a video, when they should be putting something like 18 or 19.  Here’s what they found:

Three Proven YouTube Best Practices to Drive Views [Creators Tip #99]

Fact: The more tags you add, the more views you get.

To refresh on tags, you should start with the more specific tags first and then work towards your more generic tags later in the sequence.

3. Engage With Comments

Actively respond to your comments.

Three Proven YouTube Best Practices to Drive Views [Creators Tip #99]

Videos where creators actively engage with comments generate 4x the views of those who do not.

If you can, target the more influential people who comment regularly.  At first, when you’re starting, you might want to spend a lot of time, especially in that first hour or two, actively responding to any interesting comment out there.  This not only helps you engage with fans, but YouTube tends to love it when the engagement is high early into a video’s launch.  Of course, a service like vidIQ finds those influential commenters and alerts you to who you definitely should respond to when they comment.

For more about vidIQ, click here.

Think social media will drive viewers to TV programs? Think again

Content owners increasingly are turning to social media in hopes of being able to deepen relationships with regular viewers, and, perhaps more importantly, to attract new or occasional viewers to specific programming. But a new study suggests that while social media can help enhance existing relationships with viewers, if it’s used to often, it efficacy decreases. And, in the case of non- or infrequent  viewers, social media may have little–if any impact–on drawing them into the fold. The study, from the Council for Research Excellence, found that word-of-mouth is far more likely—five to 10 times more so–to attract new or infrequent viewers to a TV show than Facebook, Twitter, or other social apps.

“While our ‘Talking Social TV’ study found social media incrementally influential in drawing viewers to new shows as opposed to existing shows,” said Beth Rockwood, senior vice president, market resources, of Discovery Communications, who chairs the CRE’s Social Media Committee, “these latest findings suggest social media may have a stronger role in building relationships with a show for existing viewers than in drawing newer viewers to that show. If programmers already have a regular viewer watching their show, they can engage them further.”

The study helped the CRE identify two distinct types of viewers—the “repeaters” and the “infrequents,” Rockwood said. It also helped it “understand the relative roles of demographics and program genre in determining the impact of social media, and to observe the effects of different forms of communication on viewers.”

For instance, the study found that social media holds more sway with repeaters who are over 55 and white, and for infrequent viewers who are Hispanic, African American and male. It is also interesting to see the type of content that has most impact.

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 13.58.23

CRE said a second study into the relationship of social media and TV viewing, encompassing a lengthier survey of respondents using mobile apps as diaries, is expected to launch later this year.

The academic review of the study was conducted by a team including The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester, and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Some other findings include:

  • For repeaters, the first encounters with offline word-of-mouth, or a one-to-one electronic communication such as an email or text, or a social-media communication, are related to higher viewing — while subsequent communications can have diminishing returns.
  • For repeaters, those receiving an initial social media message were found more likely to watch a show by one percentage point, with diminishing returns after each additional exposure to a social media message.
  • For infrequent viewers, social media and show promos were found to be less related to high viewing than offline word-of-mouth, which peaks at a four-percentage-point increase in the likelihood of sampling the show.  More than five social media exposures are needed to obtain the same one-percentage-point lift as one offline word-of-mouth exposure for these infrequent viewers. This suggests social media plays a role in encouraging sampling, but a smaller one;
  • Social media plays a stronger role for genres such as reality (a nearly four-percentage-point increase in likelihood of watching), sports (more than a two-percentage-point increase) and talk shows (approximately a one-percentage-point increase).

The CRE is an independent research group funded by Nielsen.

Click here for more details on the research.

Google’s YouTube Triples Mobile Sales Amid Wireless Shift

Google Scores YouTube Mobile Ad Sales Jackpot
Google’s YouTube has tripled advertising sales on mobile devices in the past six months, the company said, contributing as much as an estimated $350 million to revenue at the video-sharing website.
About a quarter of YouTube’s 1 billion global users now access the service via handheld devices, spurring a increase in promotional spending to reach that audience, according to Lucas Watson, vice president of sales at YouTube.

The growth in mobile video-ad sales, disclosed for the first time in an interview, indicates YouTube is making headway in efforts to attract marketing dollars and challenge rivals such as Hulu LLC. With faster wireless networks and accelerating adoption of smartphones and tablets, U.S. mobile video-ad sales are projected to expand to $2.69 billion in 2017, increasing more than 10-fold from last year, according to EMarketer Inc.

“The commercial business has exploded,” Watson said in an interview. “It’s a huge part of our business, and we know that’s where it’s headed.”

YouTube generates about 10 percent of Google’s total revenue, according to an estimate byMartin Pyykkonen, an analyst at Wedge Partners Corp. Based on Google’s $14 billion in sales in the latest quarter, and Pyykkonen’s estimate that mobile contributed 20 percent to 25 percent to YouTube, as much as $350 million in sales probably came from mobile video ads.

Google shares rose less than 1 percent to $859.70 at the close in New York, leaving the stock up 22 percent this year.

YouTube App

More than half of smartphone users in the U.S accessed YouTube’s application in March, according to Nielsen Holdings NV (NLSN). At least 70 million people in the U.S. were on the app in March, up 42 percent from a year earlier, the researcher said.

YouTube’s program, available as a download from Apple’s App Store and featured on devices running Google’s Android operating system, shows commercials before a video starts playing. The challenge in mobile advertising is to keep consumers engaged to view promotional clips, said Julie Ask, an analyst at Forrester Research.

“People have less patience on the phone; consumers have become more task-oriented,” Ask said. “The ads have to be entertaining and there’s a higher bar to some extent.”

The recent growth in usage follows Apple’s decision last year to drop YouTube as a core application in the iOS software for iPhones and iPads, said Phil Farhi, director of product management at YouTube.

Ad Shift

Seeking to make it easy for companies to shift advertising to mobile video, YouTube automates the task for marketers buying advertising, splitting airtime between computer browsers and mobile devices, Watson said. Companies can also opt out of multiscreen advertising, he said.

Electronic Arts the video-game maker, is looking to expand commercials on mobile devices, according to Christine De Martini, social marketing and media manager at the company.

“YouTube as a video platform is a definitely a key one for our products,” De Martini said. “I would anticipate as mobile consumption continues to grow, we’ll have to find ways to make sure that we reach our audiences on whatever platforms they’re on.”

The Future of Advertising, According To Google

If you want to know where Google‘s going next in advertising–which is a large chunk of where a lot of online advertising overall is going–you need to askSusan Wojcicki, the search giant’s senior vice president of advertising.

Wojcicki drives Google’s accelerating moves well beyond its search ad roots to display, video, and mobile ads. In the past year or so, Google has pushed hardto expand display revenues with a series of acquisitions in ad technology. At the same time, Google faces substantial challenges from Facebook and others pioneering new kinds of ads in the era of social and mobile.

At the ad:tech conference in San Francisco,Wojcicki talked about her “five ideas for the future of advertising.” Not surprisingly, those ideas are somewhat self-serving for Google, which just happens to have answers for most of the challenges she raises. But they also provide clues to where Google will try to push the ad industry as more media goes digital.

In the brief Q&A after her keynote, she was joined by Neal Mohan, Google’s VP of display advertising, who is well worth hearing in his own right. Here are the highlights of what they had to say:

Advertising is the lifeblood of the Internet, she says. But it’s undergoing tremendous change. We need to move as fast as the users. So I spend a lot of time at Google thinking about the future of advertising and how we’re going to reinvent it. The first thing we do is think about users and where they’re going and how are they changing their behaviors.

Imagine this woman in 2020, only seven years away. She’s going to wake up and read her news on a screen, listen to her music, watch TV on demand, use a mobile assistant when she’s on the go, etc. Her life is going to be all digital. So a lot of the ad dollars need to move online.

Wojcicki see five core ideas shaping the future of digital advertising:

1) Choice: Ad views will be voluntary.

We want to move to a model where the user is choosing to view an ad, she says. We’re paid on a cost-per-click basis where the user chooses to click on the ad. It’s up to the ad system and the publisher to show the right ad at the right time.

TrueView ads on YouTube are the same way. About 70% of ads on YouTube are now TrueView. We’ve seen a reduction of 40% in dropoff of ad viewing. One ad on YouTube got 33 million views, an ad by Pepsi featuring race car driver Jeff Gordon, pretending he’s going undercover to buy a car. It got all those views even though it was four minutes long. (Check it out above.)

Another ad format is engagement ads, which show in standard ad formats, but when users hover their mouse over it, catalogs, videos, and other features come up.

2) Control: Users will participate in the ecosystem if we provide enough value and control.

In order to serve things that are relevant to me, you (ad folks) need to know something about me, she says. It’s really important that the ads are relevant and useful. We know this works.

We’ve seen a 30 times increase in programmatic buying of display ads since 2010. But one thing has been missing. That is having users have the opportunity to say this is what I’m interested in. We have an ad preference page where we list the ad preferences of each user. When we offer this opportunity, most people take it. But we need to do this at scale. How can advertisers connect to users at scale?

3) Charm: Ads will be more interactive and beautiful–at scale.

Scale is the important word here. One format we’ve been working on is engagement ads, which give you an opportunity to be more creative. Samsung livestreamed their 90-minute event of the Galaxy S4 launch via a lot of channels, including ads. Click on that ad, and you got a livestream over the existing page. It was one of the most popular concurrent, livestreamed events we’ve seen, right up their with William and Kate’s wedding.

4) Connected: Ads will help people live their lives on the go.

Users have multiple devices, their lives are fragmented across many devices. And the devices are blurring into each other. That’s why we announced Enhanced Campaigns, she says, calling it the biggest change in Google’s AdWords structure in years. The main thrust of the changes, she says: You should be able to target not devices but people. We should be able to get ads that are relevant to where we are and what we’re doing right now.

5) Calibration: All ads will be measured. Clicks will be only one type of measurement.

We need the right type of measurement for branding too, Wojcicki says. So if you’re a brand advertiser, you’re thinking about reach and impact. For reach, she says, we’ve been working on Active GRP and Active View metrics and building that into all our products.

Impact is harder. Recently we announced a brand lift survey product where we can run surveys to users who have seen the ad. We also made the biggest change to Google Analytics in a long time. We redesigned it so we can have an understanding of data coming from different screens, different systems like customer relationship management, etc.

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Google Sites Delivers Record-Breaking 2.2 Billion Video Ads in February

comScore, Inc.  released data from the comScore Video Metrix service showing that 178 million Americans watched 33 billion online content videos in February, while the number of video ad views reached 9.9 billion with Google Sites delivering an all-time high of 2.2 billion.

Top 10 Video Content Properties by Unique Viewers

Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube.com, ranked as the top online video content property in February with 150.7 million unique viewers, followed by Facebook with 61.2 million, VEVO with 49.5 million, NDN with 46.3 million and Yahoo! Sites with 43.6 million. More than 33 billion video content views occurred during the month, with Google Sites generating the highest number at 11.3 billion and Facebook reaching its all-time high of 558 million. Google Sites had the highest average engagement among the top ten properties.

Top U.S. Online Video Content Properties Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
February 2013
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Total Unique Viewers (000) Videos (000)* Minutes per Viewer
Total Internet : Total Audience  177,955 33,031,053 1,045.7
Google Sites 150,659 11,347,490 362.1
Facebook 61,237 557,607 19.9
VEVO 49,494 540,116 36.9
NDN 46,259 523,876 74.8
Yahoo! Sites 43,619 331,168 52.5
Viacom Digital 39,095 419,486 42.8
Microsoft Sites 36,682 484,366 38.2
AOL, Inc. 35,299 570,381 57.3
Turner Digital 30,236 260,830 37.0
Amazon Sites 28,732 96,476 12.6

*A video is defined as any streamed segment of audiovisual content, including both progressive downloads and live streams. For long-form, segmented content, (e.g. television episodes with ad pods in the middle) each segment of the content is counted as a distinct video stream.Video views are inclusive of both user-initiated and auto-played videos that are viewed for longer than 3 seconds.

Top 10 Video Ad Properties by Video Ads Viewed

Americans viewed 9.9 billion video ads in February, with Google Sites ranking first with its all-time high of 2.2 billion ads. BrightRoll Video Network came in second with 1.6 billion, followed by Hulu with 1.4 billion, Adap.tv with 1.4 billion and LiveRail.com with 1 billion. Time spent watching video ads totaled 3.8 billion minutes, with BrightRoll Video Network delivering the highest duration of video ads at 859 million minutes. Video ads reached more than 50 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 63 times during the month. Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 61, while CBS Interactive and Google Sites tied for second with an average of 23 ads per viewer.

Top U.S. Online Video Ad Properties Ranked by Video Ads* Viewed
February 2013
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Ad Videos Only (Content Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Video Ads (000) Total Ad Minutes (MM) Frequency (Ads per Viewer) % Reach Total U.S. Population
Total Internet : Total Audience  9,865,717 3,774 63.3 50.5
Google Sites 2,220,537 182 23.1 31.1
BrightRoll Video Network** 1,612,405 859 11.5 45.3
Hulu 1,437,113 583 61.3 7.6
Adap.tv† 1,381,031 687 12.2 36.7
LiveRail.com† 1,004,654 400 14.2 23.0
Specific Media** 962,884 415 9.1 34.1
Auditude, Inc.** 775,958 170 13.7 18.3
TubeMogul Video Ad Platform† 597,450 165 9.2 21.1
Tremor Video** 583,978 296 8.5 22.4
CBS Interactive 565,511 240 23.1 7.9

*Video ads include streaming-video advertising only and do not include other types of video monetization, such as overlays, branded players, matching banner ads, etc.
**Indicates video ad network
†Indicates video ad exchange/DSP/SSP

Top 10 YouTube Partner Channels by Unique Viewers

The February 2013 YouTube partner data revealed that video music channel VEVO maintained the top position in the ranking with 48.2 million viewers. Fullscreen held on to the #2 position with 36.8 million viewers, followed by Maker Studios Inc. with 30.5 million, Warner Music with 26 million and ZEFR (formerly MovieClips) with 23.8 million. Among the top 10 YouTube partners, Machinima demonstrated the highest engagement (61 minutes per viewer), followed by Maker Studios Inc. (42 minutes per viewer). VEVO streamed the greatest number of videos (514 million), followed by Machinima (374 million).

Top YouTube Partner Channels* Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
February 2013
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Total Unique Viewers (000) Videos (000) Minutes per Viewer
VEVO @ YouTube 48,225 514,450 35.5
Fullscreen @ YouTube 36,849 241,535 19.5
Maker Studios Inc. @ YouTube 30,485 362,790 42.0
Warner Music @ Youtube 26,006 134,858 16.9
ZEFR @ YouTube 23,807 96,030 11.0
Machinima @ YouTube 21,017 374,468 61.4
BroadbandTV @ YouTube 16,816 93,637 16.8
google @ YouTube 14,009 24,697 6.9
UMG @ YouTube 13,691 34,048 7.1
The Orchard @ YouTube 13,200 38,957 7.8

*YouTube Partner Reporting, beginning last month with January 2013 data, gives credit to YouTube Partners for views of their single-claimed user-generated content.

Other notable findings from February 2013 include:

  • 83.3 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The duration of the average online content video was 5.6 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.
  • Video ads accounted for 23 percent of all videos viewed and 2 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.