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!

 

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

    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.

    The Difference Between YouTube’s Amateur and Professional Content

    What’s the primary difference between an amateur on YouTube and a professional creator? Not the production quality or style, silly. It’s the viewership.

    As you see below, the most-viewed partners are almost entirely professional. Yet the most-subscribed people are almost all amateurs.

    It’s a simple point, but important one: Don’t think subscriptions will necessarily lead to views or views will automatically lead to subscriptions. Unless you’re TheStation.

    Most-Viewed YouTube Channels
    Most-Viewed YouTube Channels

    Most-Subscribed YouTube Partners
    Most-Subscribed YouTube Partners

    ShayCarl Missing From YouTube’s Most-Popular Page. Fans Terrified.

    In news that shocked regular YouTube viewers, creator “Shaycarl” is not on today’s “most-popular” page.

    Shaycarl, a radio disk jockey turned full-time YouTube star, has been on a rapid rise in subscribers and views (evidenced by Google trends data below), propelled exponentially an assload in recent months due to his affiliation with “TheStation,” a popular collaboration channel of YouTube’s largest stars.

    shaycarlshaytard

    But Shay has not posted in 19 hours. His “Baby Can Slam Dunk” video was posted more than 19 hours ago, and his “Giant Dog” was dated 9/31 and posted more than a day ago.

    Shay was not available via phone or e-mail, and has largely secluded himself into a DannyJames Arthur DayDiamond sweat lodge tent in recent months.

    thestation sweat lodge

    Shaycarl’s last Twitter post was 11 hours ago, and his fans have become alarmed that his biggest hater gentle hater has abducted him. The hater (known as MisterDoodyHead) is presumably based in Venice Beach, California… based on his referring to “out here” as Shay’s current location. Reports of Shay being beaten by a car-seat have not been verified by local authority.

    Fortunately ShayCarl’s YouTube account shows activity as of four hours ago, and he will presumably return to most-popular by midnight… unless Sxephil and CharlesTrippy upload more than 100 videos today.

    Another YouTube Myth Debunked: “Best Rated” Videos Get Views?

    highest rated video of weekI made a spoof video last week called “Why You Should Rate” that was designed to point out a little YouTube myth. People think that a highly rated video with lots of comments means that they’ll get views. To further illustrate the point, the video itself is one of YouTube’s “top 20” highest rated videos of the week, and has about 7,000 views. Contrast that with my recent “Snake in a Pool,” which has no “honors” and 100,000 plus views.

    While I’m too lazy to disprove this “ratings = views” myth via statistical analysis, I would invite a high school student to take this on as an independent project. Further, they could analyze the correlation between total duration and total views to identify the theoretically ideal video length. The time that optimizes views (I’m betting on 75-90 seconds). There’s plenty of public data to help here, and I’d love to publish the findings.

    While it’s true that a video resulting in lots of comments also often gets lots of views, the comments and views are not directly related. It’s likely the video topic’s  high impact and/or controversial nature that causes other things: views, comments and ratings (although it’s possible that videos ranking high on these ratings are rewarded with preferred placement on the YouTube’s “promoted videos” homepage section to balance the paid videos that sneak there… and that would result in a second wave of views).

    Very few people surf YouTube’s ranked videos on a regular basis. So while the “highest rated” or “most viewed” of all time is almost impossible to dethrone, the daily and weekly honors are little more than ego feeders. The sustainability of a YouTuber is a function of good content, fresh material, a balance of consistency with variety, creator adaptability (I’ll call the Madonna reinvention factor), and a loyal audience that is satisfied enough to watch and share the content with friends.

    In theory, a highly rated video would be highly viewed. But in fact the highly viewed videos are often one-hit wonders that pop outside YouTube and therefore have lots of views by innactive YouTube viewers- those that don’t tend to comment or rate. It’s also true that what we watch isn’t necessarily what we like. Would you rate a highway accident 5 stars? Nope. Would you look?

    So where am I going with this post? The same place I went with this video, which is artificially ranked in the league of HappySlip, Smosh, KevJumba, The Onion, College Humor, and even the Retarded Policeman. Heck I even topped the inexplicably popular “Fred” and one of the”very funny cats” videos.

    In the end, I like the creative experience of YouTube, the people with whom I interact in various ways, the videos that don’t suck, and the revenue subsidy (aka debt-relief fund). But assessing yourself based on subscribers, honors and other proxies to faux fame is fools gold, friend. Shiny and perty, but it will just sink you when you try to swim from the shipwreck. And that’s a mixed metaphor you can take to the bank on your horse that you lead to water in a stitch in time.

    “How to Become Popular on YouTube (Without Any Talent)” – A Free eBook

    YouTube Popularity bookThank you, dear readers, for your help finalizing this version 1.5 of “How to Become Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent.” Honestly, if I look at this document another moment I’m going to boot. If you’re looking for my real book, “Beyond Viral,” published by Wiley & Sons in 2010, please click here.

    (Warning- clicking the image to the right will cause you to download the book, which is annoying but probably what most people expect).

    This post marks the official release of the book. You can download it (for free) by clicking this link, which will open the 30-page PDF: “How to Become Popular on YouTube (Without Any Talent), version 1.5” by Kevin Nalts, WillVideoForFood.com. If you post the PDF on your own blog or website, please keep that title, and my name and URL. You might want to list this post’s permalink, since it will point to future downloadable versions.

    While you’re waiting for Adobe to open (insert “car rusting” joke here), I hope you’ll RSS this blog so we can keep each other current. If you’re a YouTuber and haven’t subscribed to my videos, visit YouTube.com/Nalts, then select the orange button labled “subscribe.” Okay- enough self promotion for one day. I’m going to take a nap.

    Here’s the book on Skribd for easy access.

    Here’s a free 2-page synopsis of my book, “The Prophet of Online Video.” If you want to use this outline and write your own book, go ahead. I’m so not writing for a while.