Online-Video is Looking More Like Television

 

Online-video is looking more and more like TV with ads, networks/studios, and a virtual monopoly.

comScore’s September data sheds some light on the non Google video-sharing sites, the top ad networks, and the top-1o channels on YouTube, all of which are professional. The biggest takeaway? The Santa María, La Niña, and La Pinta have long since landed and the corn-sharing Indians are being run off the east coast.

  • Professional content (or web studios representing amateurs) are leading the charts
  • The market remains highly centralized among one or two key players
  • Ads are now pervasive
  • YouTube is increasing its personal white-glove service among the top 100 YouTube partners (including lavish events), and moving many subordinate Partners to e-mail only deidentified support (this isn’t reflected in comScore).

Now let’s look at comScore highlights…

  1. Google/YouTube retains its leadership with 161 million unique viewers (followed by Vevo with about 57K). More importantly, it clocked in a 378 minutes per viewer, which beats Hulu’s 180 minutes. Hulu’s 27K unique viewers watched 642,000 minutes of video (YouTube’s got 18 million). Also worth noting is Microsoft and Viacom’s overtaking of Facebook and Yahoo (two sites that could have been online-video leaders)
  2. Ad networks run those prerolls and keep the online-video body flowing with life saving blood. Here are the leaders: Hulu is #1, Tremor Video ranked second overall with 811 million ad views, followed by Adap.tv (803 million) and BrightRoll Video Network (665 million).
  3. Professional studios rule the most-viewed channels, but note that some amateurs are represented by these players. Gaming channel Machinima ranked third with 17 million viewers, followed by Maker Studios (which has signed a number of YouTube weblebrities) with 9 million, Demand Media with 6.8 million and Revision3 with 5.4 million.

Monkey AK-47 Video Goes Viral

An monkey/ape using an AK-47 video has gone viral with more than 12 million views since it was posted less than a month ago…

While it may have fooled your barber, you certainly know better. It’s an increasingly rare but solid example of using faux footage to stimulate buzz… in this case for 20th Century Fox’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” See more commercial “viral” clips on the Viral Video Chart courtesy of Mashable.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Funny Conference

So I’m sitting at Starbucks at 3, and I’ll be on stage in about 33 minutes. My presentation looks perhaps like a hotdog long before it takes that edible, if somewhat phallic, shape. Despite my morning’s panic attack, missing a flight and driving the 7 hours to Boston, I manage to catch YouTube Hall-of-Famer Michael Buckley as I pass his town. Sadly he has “a doctor’s appointment” that precludes a quick spanking or whatever YouTubers do when they meet.

It’s 3:03 as I reorder slides, fundamentally changing my entire presentation (shown below on Slideshare) I can’t help but get distracted by two nervous looking band members who appear to be meeting a new digital marketer consultant. “Our last guy, um, got really busy with school,” says Shaggy (his real name is being withheld because I don’t know it). The consultant begins to LAY IT ON THICK. Total bullshit, coated with a thick creamy topping of arrogance and a faux-pedantic snobbery crowning it all like an overly marinated cherry on top.

The topic of viral video comes up, and my face begins to literally contort as I hear the crap this guy’s advising. I couldn’t control my face. I could see some gal looking at me, and then over at them… making the connection. But I can’t help myself. When Shaggy says “I’m not willing to lose my integrity to get 3 million views on YouTube,” I think seriously about coming to his rescue. But something about this consultant strikes me as odd and dangerous. He’s far too assertive, simplistic, narcissistic, simplistic and repetitive (seems we loathe that in others that we resent in ourselves).

As I’ve finally shifted back to my presentation, literally changing the entire thesis at this point with minutes to spare, the consultant BARGES out the door of Starbucks leaving Shaggy and Scooby stunned. Again I decide to go to their rescue, hold their hand, and tell them that one need not compromise their virtues to go viral… I’ll even volunteer. But just like a dream ending abruptly, they vanish. Come to think of it, maybe it was a dream. No… I’m pretty sure it was real.

Then I gave this presentation below. To show that humor is hard to categorize because of its subjectivity, I did a live vlog (seen at the end of this video) where I followed the 102nd rule of “winning over an audience.” I secretly maligned them using a stage whisper. I was actually kinda bummed out they laughed, which is not what I expected after reading this Joel Warner Wired article that put this on my rader (and created an obsession for me).

Now for the preliminary findings, and a BIG thanks to Alexis, Kiddsock and Will Reese, as well as other contributors!

 

Crowdsourcing Data on Humor Via YouTube: Want to Help?

Per this video, I’m preparing for a presentation at the International Society of Humor Studies (yes there’s such a thing). I present on Tuesday (July 5) in Boston at the international meeting. If you’re near Boston University, please enroll and attend! This is a scholarly and professional organization dedicated to the advancement of humor research. Many of the Society’s members are university and college professors in the Arts and Humanities, Biological and Social Sciences and Education. Then there’s me.

Given my “prolific” experience as a YouTube “comedian” (220 million views, and about 200K per day) and my publication of “Beyond Viral,” I’m tackling humor from the perspective of comedy videos on YouTube and their “rankings.” My background as a psychology student (Georgetown) and MBA in marketing (statistics) also helps, and so does my decades of analyzing market research for my job as a marketer (now at Johnson & Johnson). But you, dear reader, offer perhaps other valuable perspectives.

Here’s the fundamental question this presentation (including a white paper) will address:

What can we learn about what this planet finds funny, based on the data available on YouTube?

Do you want to help? Here’s some information if you have time/interest…

  • YouTube, as the world’s largest video site and 2nd most-popular search engine after Google, is a good basis to explore humor. The videos can be sorted in many ways, and the large data sample is a rich source of insights. There are, of course, three “confounding” variables to extrapolating YouTube data to the planet’s humor preference: a) Selection bias: YouTube viewers are not necessarily representative, b) Popularity bias: videos by “popular” webstars generally get more views and higher ratings regardless of their humor quotient, c) Algorithm bias: YouTube videos for many years were ranked by “most viewed” or “favorite” videos, which created a “rich get rich” effect… once a video achieved critical mass, it received new views based on its ranking and effectively “locked” some weak videos in a place of perpetual viewing. That’s changed, and now videos are “spotlighted” based such criteria as percentage of comments, promoted videos, and other concealed factors that change.
  • I’ve spent countless hours reviewing the top 100 most-viewed comedy videos on YouTube (see preliminary findings by clicking “MORE” at the bottom of this post), and categorizing them by a dozen plus criteria. Your contribution, if you wish to help, need not be as exhaustive. I had to view, classify, expand classifications and review them multiple times. I found only about 12 of them funny by my subjective standards, but that’s not the goal. After viewing them each 5-10 times, I can say none are funny anymore to me.
  • You can help any way you have time, assuming a) you find this research interesting and b) you have time free between now and Monday (July 4). You could spend 1 minute providing a comment about how you might suggest analyzing YouTube. Or maybe you’re keen on spending a hours actually reviewing videos based on criteria/methodology you prefer (do it, don’t ask for my feedback). If you can find some interesting published method for classifying humor (edgy/cute or intellectual/emotional) than use it. Or create your own based on a hypothesis (are Asians more likely to be top-rated comedians? Are women?).
  • What’s in it for you? You’ll be part of something that, to my knowledge, has never been done (although if I’m wrong and you find otherwise let me know). We’re combining two disciplines (the art of comedy and the science of analysis/psychology) that rarely meet. I’ll be grateful for your comments and volunteer assignments, and I’ll credit you in the report and in a YouTube video if you provide ANY meaningful contribution (like a 2-page summary of quantifiably substantiated findings).
  • What do you do next? If you have an idea, run with it. You could sort comedy videos by date (time period) and look at objective patterns.
    • You could review most-viewed or most-subscribed comedians and observe similarities and differences in some quantifiable way. Just try to avoid your subjective opinion (what YOU like/don’t), and instead focus on quantifiable patterns based on what crowds like (as measured by rankings/ratings/comments/likes/dislikes)… as you’ll see by my “preliminary findings” this does require some subjective calls but be consistant and note criteria.
    • You’ll also have to rely on your YouTube knowledge to isolate “confounding variables” (Shaytards love Shaycarl and tend to view/rate his videos as high, which could lead to a faulty conclusion that it’s representative of the planet’s preference about humor. The goal isn’t to find out what hard-core YouTubers like (or specific “tribes” of people) but something bigger.
    • You could research other academic research on humor that provide clues. Or use an already researched classification model for comedy/humor.
    • Instead of focusing on comedy videos, you could explore the most-subscribed channels on YouTube that classify themselves as comedy. What are the patterns?
  • Do you wait for my okay to start? Nope– just have a go. Even if your efforts don’t produce anything meaningful, you’ll be credited for your effort (just describe your approach and findings in a simple summary). I doubt we’ll see two people tackle it the same way, so there’s little risk of redundancy.
  • Timing: Again this is being presented on Tuesday so I need to wrap it by Monday, July 4. I hope you’ll join the effort! I’ll be checking comments between now and Monday regularly.

To read about my approach and findings so far, click MORE…

Continue reading “Crowdsourcing Data on Humor Via YouTube: Want to Help?”

Biggest and Most Organized Online-Video & YouTube Community Event

There are loads of social media events, and many YouTube “community gatherings,” meetups and online video events. But the “South By Southwest” of online-video and YouTube is indisputably VidCon. Organized by Hank and John Green (vlogbrothers), the event in 2010 drew hundreds of community members, top “YouTube Stars,” and Nerdfighters (the active people who rally to reduce the world of “suck”). It also included lots of on-stage entertainment that was shared widely online. VidCon 2011 is planned for July 28-30 in San Francisco, California. Early bird discount if you book before Jan. 10, and the hotel is Hyatt Regency Central Plaza.

Here are some highlights of 2010’s VidCon to give you a flavor. It’s focused on viewers and creators, but does attract industry folks and marketers (and has a special industry track). Unlike some popular YouTube love-festivals where “big YouTubers” are VIP, this one is quite egalitarian.

YouTube’s Viral “Year in Review”

Enjoy a collage of some of the seminal viral-video moments in 2010. I’ve already posted about what we can learn from these, but I thought you might enjoy YouTube Trend’s video montage. You can see all the videos at “TheYearInReview.” Don’t laugh at the name. There were only 11 unparked usernames.

Thanks for the feedback on my new blog template, which apparently is ass.

What We Can Learn from Most-Viewed Videos of 2010

What can we learn from the most-viewed “viral” videos of 2010? How are they similar and different from years past?

First, let’s take a look at the run-down, courtesy of YouTube and ReelSEO, here’s the list. YouTube has a new trend blog/website that’s worth bookmarking or RSS’ing: YouTube Trends.

  • The BED INTRUDER SONG! (a news clip turned into a meme with help from schmoyoho
  • TIK TOK KESHA Parody: Glitter Puke – Key of Awe$ome #13 (another Next New Networks hit)
  • Greyson Chance Singing Paparazzi (a 6th grader with Justin Bieber-like cut, featuring shaky handheld camera)
  • Annoying Orange Wazzup (Daneboe’s facial fruit was spurred to amazing popularity in 2010… note that since Daneboe launched Annoying Orange’s own channel early in 2010, the collection has been viewed nearly 400 million times… giving him more views than this entire top-10 list).
  • Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (hey a commercial- see what does the author of Beyond Viral know?)
  • Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10 (the dude trips out seeing two rainbows)
  • OK Go – This Too Shall Pass – Rube Goldberg Machine version (Okgo, the treadmill band does it again)
  • THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE – Trailer (really? a trailer?)
  • Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan (Jimmy Kimmel is handling his old/new media balance quite well- check out the girl get a visit from Bieber)
  • Ken Block’s Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l’Autodrome (this is the only one I hadn’t seen- a racing car… snore). Speaking of videos I haven’t seen (even the “Viral Video Genius” can’t see them all), did you see Cookie Monster audition for SNL? If Jim Henson was alive, SNL would be auditioning for The Muppet Show.
  • So what are the common themes?

    1. Nothing sells like a song (most of the top-10 all-time most viewed YouTube videos are songs).
    2. Quirky is still nice — whether it’s manufactured (Annoying Orange) or authentic (Double Rainbow)
    3. Viral is increasingly a symptom of offline popularity (Kimmel/Bieber/Lady Gaga/Twighlight)
    4. The biggest difference between 2009 and 2010 is that professional & commercial content trumped user-generated videos, with only one true exception (the Double Rainbow).
    5. With the exception of Daneboe (Annoying Orange) and Schmoyo (AutoTune the News), none of these really spawned a new person or channel.
    6. Production quality mattered more this year than years past. Which is why we amateurs need to up our game (see my new ShootLikePro blog).
    7. Note that the top-ten list excludes major record labels, or they would dominate list. YouTube has increasingly become a free visual jute box.

    How is this list similar or different from 2007, 2008 and 2009?

    1. Commercials are still the exception not rule. This year’s popular advertising campaign/commercial was Old Spice, and last year it was Evian’s roller skating babies. I referred to the latter in my book as the “exception to the rule” that promotional videos don’t often go viral. Even though this is increasingly true, 2011 to spawn some Old Spice knockoffs nonetheless. Hopefully a few brands and agencies will try a “road less travelled” with better odds.
    2. Both 2009 and 2009 lists had a Twilight trailer. Again- this says less about online video as the fact that the films are extremely popular.
    3. Last year’s “double rainbow” was the quirky “David After the Dentist,” now at 75 million views (that’s almost half of the views I’ve garnered on my entire collection). Hopefully we’ll continue to rally around odd moment like these.
    4. As the medium matures, we’ve seen fewer “quirky” amateur clips than, say, 2008 when we had viralizations like Fred, “Christian the Lion” and ImprovEverywhere’s “Frozen Grand Central.” The memes of 2007 were even more interesting to me — from The Landlord and “Leave Britney Alone” to Obama Girl (Next New Networks) and the South Carolina Miss Teen USA clip
    5. Last year’s kid singing Paparazzi was a more choreographed wedding video (Forever). People love an amateur singer overnight success story (Susan Boyle).
    6. Almost all of the top-10 popped on YouTube. The world’s second-largest search engine remains the most vibrant channel.
    7. The teen factor is still driving views, even if each year offers content for a broader demographic.

    Each year the top 10 most-viewed hits are a smaller percent of overall views… it’s the long tail effect. Finally, do you notice anything missing for the first year in a while? No SNL Digital shorts… or sadly, anything from The Onion, College Humor or Funny Or Die.

    Okay now go buy my book, or tell a journalist to interview me for a delightful year-end segment on viral videos.

    Beyond Viral: Everything About Online Video You Were Afraid to Ask

    Best Video Bloggers (Vloggers) on YouTube

    Who are the best daily video bloggers (vloggers) on YouTube? Where can you find the most interesting video creators? I have no idea, but check these folks out.
    • The only daily vlogger who hunts GHOSTS
    • Someone who is making multiple sclerosis “her bitch
    • A dude who apparently drinks a lot of Red Bull and says he can kick Shaycarl and CharlesTrippy’s asses
    • Cooks, book reviews, psychology, philosophy, dogs, mystics, mind-reading midgets (okay the last one was a stretch)
    • Someone who glues paper to his head
    • Even a few of these people may be weirder than me
    For context, last week I posted a video on my “UncleNalts” account, inviting daily vloggers to send a clip to promote their channel. Below is the collage/collection, and you can subscribe to them through links below.

    What is The YouTube Orbit?
    It’s just a name we made up to refer to daily vlogs – an attempt to do videos each day for one Earth rotation around the sun. I’ve been somewhat consistent but not perfect. Urgo6667 helped popularize the name, and even set up a channel for the YouTube Orbit (click to see).
    How Can I Join the YouTube Orbit?
    Ping! You’re a member. It’s not exclusive. If you tag your video YTO or “YouTube Orbit” Urgo will feature it on the YT Orbit page. I’ve got a list of some of the daily vloggers on my Unclenalts subscription page, but I’m not sure it’s up to date. Hope it goes without saying you can be a daily vlogger without using the name YouTube Orbit, it’s just something some of us are using…. to refer to a group, a mission, a rotation, a thing.
    I Wanted to Be In This, and Missed It! Now What?
    No worries. I’ll do another montage. Just send a 15-second clip to the e-mail address on this video, and please title your video using your youtube channel name… please please please. If I don’t post a new one within a month, tell Urgo to kick my ass.
    What? You’ve written a book? Where can I get it?
    Well I’m glad you asked. To learn about YouTube marketing to promote yourself, company or vlog… get “Beyond Viral” at your local Barnes & Noble or Barnes. Or order on Amazon: http://www.beyondviral.com.
    The channels, by order of their appearance:
    http://www.youtube.com/nalts
    http://www.youtube.com/unclenalts
    http://www.youtube.com/theYTOrbit
    http://www.youtube.com/urgo6667
    http://www.youtube.com/theSweetestVegan
    http://www.youtube.com/NewAgeVideos (ghost dude)
    http://www.youtube.com/NicolovsVideo
    http://www.youtube.com/aikitherese
    http://www.youtube.com/H3ADY1313 (making MS her bitch)
    http://www.youtube.com/katinatreesee (say it 3 times fast)
    http://www.youtube.com/urgo6667 (don’t sub twice)
    http://www.youtube.com/olinselot (olinsalot, olinsellot)
    http://www.youtube.com/vLieu24
    http://www.youtube.com/ the mystery dude
    http://www.youtube.com/CreativeSoulTV (spinning camera)
    http://www.youtube.com/theHappyNarwhals
    http://www.youtube.com/journeyoflivevlogs (shaved head)
    http://www.youtube.com/BlueSpectacles
    http://www.youtube.com/Tyboze (pwns Trippy and Shay)
    http://www.youtube.com/buddhacharlie (MIA)

    One Thing You MUST Know About YouTube

    The next time I speak at a conference and I ask “who’s heard of Fred?” and “who’s heard of Annoying Orange?” you’d better raise your hand. Happy Birthday to Annoying Orange, who was created by Daneboe a year ago.

    In its first year of life the orange with a human mouth and face is the 10th most-subscribed YouTuber with nearly 300 million views. Can you name anyone else who was more famous at the age of one? The Lindbergh baby doesn’t count… he was 20 months when he was kidnapped.

    I wonder what I'll be for Halloween?

    Oh, and yeah that’s me playing the knife in my second cameo; see first knife cameo, or see my behind-the-scenes PSA about knife safety… Of course I’m not as cute as the wee wii pony or a flaming baby marshmallow with helium voice.

    Top Viral-Video Advertisements of All Time

    Topping OldSpice and Evian, the most-viewed online-video advertiser is Blendtec, according to “The Top 10 Viral Ads of All Time,” by AdAge (AdvertisingAge) and VisibleMeasures.

    Seriously we’re not tired of it.

    Want to guarantee your video goes viral? Um, yeah, about that...

    Here’s the page on YouTube where you can sort videos and channels by most-viewed , most-liked, most-subscribed by day, week, month, all time. Find me a few advertisements on here and I’ll give you a piece of candy.

    I think I get the first copy of my book, Beyond Viral, in a week or less. The central premise is that it’s time for advertisers to stop pinning all their hopes on going viral. Leverage popular creators and channels. When the web was new we all scrambled to create the ultimate website for our target audience… now we’re back to advertising and public relations.

    With online video we can do a “Hail Mary” and maybe land on AdAge’s chart. Or we could sponsor a webstar and guaranteee a sizable audience without luck or paying for views.

    But they’re amateurs! They may say something bad. Yeah, no. You sponsor them and you get to review their videos before they’re live… and still I literally got a text yesterday from an agency friend who wondered who might produce a viral video for her.

    I wonder if archaic advertisers and marketers will blend? I mean I wouldn’t press the button, but if you could build a big enough blender… MAN that would go viral.