The first month of official comScore YouTube Partner Reporting rankings were announced last week. The data from the comScore Video Metrix service for August 2011 provided a never-before-seen comparison of viewership across hundreds of the 20,000 YouTube partners and their channels.
In a press release, comScore highlighted the top 10 YouTube partner channels ranked by unique video viewers. The comScore PR people also provided The Wall Street Journal with data for 50 of “The Biggest Tubes on YouTube.”
All this data provides a fairly comprehensive and remarkably granular view of the unique audiences within different YouTube partner channels, enabling advertisers to optimize campaigns across specific channels to reach desired target audiences.
Now, some marketers might not recognize the significance of the opportunity that’s just been handed to them. But just imagine that the comScore YouTube Partner Reporting rankings are the “Gray’s Sports Almanac” of the online video era. If this movie metaphor doesn’t ring a bell, then watch “The Almanac Scene – Back to the Future Part 2 Movie (1989) – HD.”
How significant is the opportunity? According to the comScore press release, almost 180.4 million Americans watched online video content in August. In other words, 85.8 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video that month. By comparison, the primetime audience for the top 10 primetime broadcast TV shows during the 2010-2011 season was 187 million viewers, according to Nielsen. So, online video is the elephant in the room. It’s impossible to overlook.
This means you should dig deeper into the comScore YouTube Partner Reporting rankings sooner rather than later. To get you started, here are seven significant secrets that I’ve found:
- YouTube is bigger than reality. Look at the top of “The Biggest Tubes on YouTube” and you’ll see that YouTube.com had 162.1 million viewers during August. By comparison, unscripted reality programming captured 56.4 percent of the total primetime audience viewing the top 10 broadcast TV shows during the 2010-2011 season. That’s 105.5 million viewers. So, the YouTube audience is bigger than the primetime television audience for the top reality programs.
- I want my music videos! The data revealed that video music channels VEVO, with almost 60.6 million viewers, and Warner Music, with over 30.9 million viewers, were ranked first and second, respectively. Thirty years ago, a previous generation told cable TV providers, “I want my MTV!” Today, when the current generation wants music videos, it watches the top two channels on YouTube.
- It’s only a game. Machinima ranked third with almost 17.7 million viewers. Machinima.com is a gaming and media streaming website that aims to be a hub for machinima, the art of creating animated videos in real-time virtual 3-D environments.
- Smaller studios for smaller screens. Maker Studios ranked fourth with almost 10 million viewers. Maker Studios was co-founded by Dan Zappin, Lisa Donovan, and Ben Donovan and the Maker Network consists of more than 125 YouTube channels.
- How to farm evergreen content. Demand Media ranked fifth with almost 8.4 million viewers. Demand Media is an online media company and “content farm” that operates online brands such as eHow and Cracked.com, and is known for creating online content through its Demand Media Studios division based on a combination of measured consumer demand and predicted ROI.
- The best TV shows on the Internet. Revision3 ranked sixth with almost 6.6 million viewers. Revision3 is a San Francisco based Internet television network that creates, produces and distributes web television shows on niche topics.
- All the news that’s fit to watch. The Associated Press (AP) ranked seventh with almost 5.7 million viewers. By comparison, an average of 8.5 million viewers watched the NBC Nightly News each night in 2010, more than 7.4 million watched ABC World News, and almost 5.7 million watched CBS Evening News, according to Nielsen.
Let’s call these YouTube channels “The Significant Seven.” And imagine that you’ve just read about them in Gray’s Sports Almanac.
Or, try the following analogy: Imagine that back in 1981 you’d been handed the viewing data for the top 50 cable TV channels. Would you have dug deeper into the data to find some new advertising opportunities for your company or brand? Or, would you have stuck with advertising on ABC, CBS, and NBC?
Spoiler Alert: According to the Pew Research Center’s report, The State of the News Media 2011, “Only one of the three networks, NBC, managed the previous transition in television news — to the cable era — with much success. The lion’s share of its news division’s revenue now comes from its cable properties, not broadcast, and the profit margins on those properties are substantial.”