The Sun Never Sets on the Wide, Wide World of Online Video

Back in the 18th Century, George Macartney used the phrase “this vast empire on which the sun never sets” to describe the global reach of British imperial power. In the 21st Century, I’d use the phrase “the sun never sets on the wide, wide world of online video” to describe the global media opportunity facing marketers.

According to comScore Video Metrix, almost 1.2 billion unique viewers worldwide watched more than 137.5 billion videos in April 2011. This means that the average video viewer watched 118.6 videos that month.

Although more up-to-date data is available in some countries, let’s look at the April 2011 numbers to get an apples-to-apples view of where the largest market opportunities can be found.

  1. In China, more than 263.4 million unique viewers watched over 10.5 billion videos. This means the average Chinese video viewer watched 40.0 videos that month. 
  2. In the United States, almost 172.1 million unique viewers watched close to 29.4 billion videos. This means the average American video viewer watched almost 170.6 videos that month. 
  3. In Japan, almost 54.3 million unique viewers watched close to 8.7 billion videos. This means the average Japanese video viewer watched almost 160.0 videos that month. 
  4. In Germany, more than 44.9 million unique viewers watched close to 8.4 billion videos. This means the average German video viewer watched 186.9 videos that month. 
  5. In Russia, more than 39.8 million unique viewers watched close to 3.5 billion videos. This means the average Russian video viewer watched 86.8 videos that month. 
  6. In France, almost 38.7 million unique viewers watched close to 5.1 billion videos. This means the average French video viewer watched 131.2 videos that month. 
  7. In Brazil, more than 35.9 million unique viewers watched over 3.1 billion videos. That means the average Brazilian video viewer watched 86.7 videos that month. 
  8. In the United Kingdom, almost 32.1 million unique viewers watched close to 5.2 billion videos. This means the average British video viewer watched almost 161.6 videos that month.
  9. In India, almost 31.5 million unique viewers watched close to 1.9 billion videos. This means the average Indian video viewer watched over 60.0 videos that month. 
  10. In Canada, almost 22.2 million unique viewers watched close to 5.5 billion videos. This means the average Canadian video viewer watched almost 247.7 videos that month.

Now, were you surprised that China has more unique viewers of online video than the United States? But, YouTube is blocked in the People’s Republic of China. So, in the Chinese market, the #1 video property is Youku, the #2 is Tudou, and the #3 is 56.com, according to comScore Video Metrix.

In addition to China ranking ahead of the United States, were you astonished that Japan, Germany, Russia, France and Brazil have more unique viewers of online video than the United Kingdom, or that India has more unique viewers of online video than Canada?

How can global marketers take advantage of this?

First, review “NIKE ESCRIBE EL FUTURO VERSIÓN COMPLETA,” which appears below. Nike’s agency, Wieden & Kennedy, created the “Write the Future” ad campaign that featured three of the top soccer players from around the globe (Drogba, Rooney and Ronaldo) in a series of videos that appeared before the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Since Nike wasn’t an official sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Advertising Age gave this video ad an award for “Best Brand-Jacking of a Global Sporting Event.”

Next, observe “Piano stairs - TheFunTheory.com - Rolighetsteorin.se” below. Volkswagen (or rather ad agency DDB Stockholm) created a video that shows taking the stairs instead of the escalator is more fun.

Note that no translation was necessary to illustrate their point.

Third, watch “The Silent Indian National Anthem” below. Big Cinemas, a division of Reliance MediaWorks Ltd and a member of Reliance ADA Group, is India’s largest cinema chain.

Big Cinemas uploaded the video above with the following description: “PATRIOTISM KNOWS NO LANGUAGE. We’re a nation of 1.2 billion who speak over 20 languages. If we all love our language to the point of discriminating against others, our tongues will become the swords that’ll divide this land. Let us, together, start a movement to celebrate our differences. Please give your opinion, on how we can spread the light of unity.”

Fourth, check out “Unleash Your Fingers.” Samsung’s agency, Heaven, created a video that featured JayFunk of Los Angeles for the launch of the Galaxy SII in France.

Who knew “finger tutting” was a worldwide phenomenon?

Finally, look at “2D Photography Rube Goldberg” below. David Dvir, lead photographer for 2D Photography Inc., in Toronto and his Canadian team put together what can only be described as the ultimate Rube Goldberg photo shoot.

You don’t need to read English to enjoy this clip.

These are just five examples of ways that marketers can take advantage of the fact that the sun never sets on the world of online video.