10 things at 10: YouTube celebrates its first decade

10 things at 10: YouTube celebrates its first decade

YouTube has just celebrated the big one-oh and look how far it has come in those intervening years. Here are our ten thoughts for brands on the video network as it reaches double figure.

 

1. The first video

The first video ever uploaded to YouTube was an 18-second clip called Me at the Zoo. Since 23 April 2005, it has been viewed 18.6 million times. It features YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, several elephants and an unseen goat.

Now, more than 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

 

2. We’re watching ads for longer

When you click on a cilp on YouTube and an ad starts to play, are you the sort of person who instantly reaches for the mouse to click on Skip Ad?

Perhaps not. It seems that we are getting used to ads on YouTube and watching them for longer.

Each month, YouTube produces an Ads Leaderboard and collates these into an end-of-year report.

The 2014 report showed that the leading ads are almost 50% longer than those in last year’s list and last around three minutes each. We are also spending 50% longer watching the ads. The top ten alone were viewed for more than a billion minutes.

 

3. We are watching more and more YouTube

People are watching more and more on YouTube, Incredibly, the number of hours people are watching on the network each month has grown by 50% year on year.

How does this compare to television? According to BARB, the average number of hours of television watched by individuals in the UK has risen over the past eight years, from 3.7 hours a day in 2004 to 4.0 hours a day in 2011. All the age groups have increased their viewing except for adults aged 25-34, whose viewing fell from 3.5 hours a day in 2004 to 3.3 hours per day in 2011.

 

4. Vloggers are influential…right?

Social media research company GWI in its 2015 Vloggers research reveals that 42% of internet users say they have watched a vlog in the past month, with half of 16 to 24 year olds saying they have done so.

Brands have been frantically working out how to engage with vloggers as a result in order to sell their products. However, the company’s research reveals that only 12% of those watching find out about new products and brands from vloggers – other sources of information such as word of mouth, websites and search engines are used far more.

 

5. Mobile watching

According to YouTube research (https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/youtube-insights-stats-data-trends-vol6.html), 40% of all the minutes watched on YouTube are on smartphone. The same research also showed that 98% of 18-34 year olds are watching video on their smartphones on any one day, compared with 81% who are watching TV.

34% of smartphone users are watching video while away from home. YouTube says, “People watching digital video outside the home are also 1.8x more likely than average to be meaningfully engaged because they are likely to be watching video for active purposes, such as looking for information or exploring a passion.”

The YouTube experience is getting nicer

Remember the old days? The days when you couldn’t watch a YouTube clip on an iPhone because a certain Mr Jobs had said he didn’t want to have a technology called Flash running on his lovely devices? Those days are gone and not just because of the early departure of the Apple supremo.

In January, YouTube announced – relatively quietly – that it was moving to a standard called HTML5 as its default instead of Flash. The biggest barrier to its adoption had been the lack of something called adaptive bit-rate streaming, the technology that changes the quality of the clip depending on the speed of your internet connection. HTML5 now supports it.

YouTube says that videos will now load 15 to 80% per cent faster than before.

 

6. The YouTube experience is getting nicer

Remember the old days? The days when you couldn’t watch a YouTube clip on an iPhone because a certain Mr Jobs had said he didn’t want to have a technology called Flash running on his lovely devices? Those days are gone and not just because of the early departure of the Apple supremo.

In January, YouTube announced – relatively quietly – that it was moving to a standard called HTML5 as its default instead of Flash. The biggest barrier to its adoption had been the lack of something called adaptive bit-rate streaming, the technology that changes the quality of the clip depending on the speed of your internet connection. HTML5 now supports it.

YouTube says that videos will now load 15 to 80% per cent faster than before.

 

7. The biggest brand on YouTube is…

Red Bull. The energy drink company has the highest number of subscribers to its YouTube channel – some 3.9 million, according to analysts Statista, as shown in the chart below

Chart showing big brands on YouTube

Its extreme action video clips have always been popular but Felix Baumgartner’s mega skydive from the edge of space was what really pushed it to the top.

In January, the company announced that its videos had been viewed more than one billion times. Watch a round-up of its best bits below:

 

8. Travel not quite doing it

A report by Touchstorm on the top 5,000 channels on YouTube showed that only 74 belonged to brands.

More worryingly, just two came from the travel sector – Turkish Airlines at 25 and Disney Parks at 33.

Turkish Airlines’ success was almost entirely down to a single video – one showing Lionel Messi and Kobe Bryant vying for a kid’s attention on a flight which has been seen more than 100 million times.

 

9. Do ads work?

YouTube offers a range of ad formats called TrueView, where advertisers only pay for what has been actually watched rather than when an ad has been served up in search results or plays before or after a clip the user wants to watch (in-stream). But do they work?

YouTube says that clickthrough rates for in-stream ads – of which 85% are skippable – can reach as much as 4% and that viewers choose not to skip an ad between 15 and 45% of the time.

The company says that this year, half of all online campaigns will include cost-per-view video.

 

10. A seventh of the planet

YouTube now has more than a billion users.

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Mark Frary is co-founder of Travel Perspective, a social and digital consultancy working with travel companies and tourism organisations to create successful marketing campaigns He is an author and writer specialising in travel, social media and technology. He writes regularly for The Times and has written for many other publications including the Evening Standard, the Independent on Sunday, the Daily Express, Food & Travel, ABTA magazine, the easyJet magazine and Teletext.  Mark also gives expert advice to leisure and business travel companies on their social media and communications strategies and is the co-founder of Social Travel Market, an annual conference on the use of social media in travel at World Travel Market. He is the author of seven books including The Origins of the Universe for Dummies and is currently working on a biography of the ski pioneer Erna Low. Mark lives in Ampthill in Bedfordshire, UK with his wife and three children. www.travelperspective.co.uk

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