Everyone's looking for ways to take their video and make it more social. No one is after traditional views anymore--haven't you heard? Social views are where it's at. A viewer is just that... someone who views. A social viewer, however, is someone who views your video and then shares it with friends and family over Facebook, email, or Twitter. Social views are more powerful because of their influence and ability to lead to more views.
A new study out today from the Jun Group shows that shorter videos are more likely to be shared by viewers than longer clips, Facebook is the preferred method of sharing, and consumer packaged goods are leading the way in the world of branded social video.
The Jun Group calls themselves "the premier social video company." They use proprietary technology to deliver video views through social channels--so in other words, they find your video an audience. And they were apparently behind the infamous "Kobe Jumps Over A Speeding Car" viral hit.
Shorter Video is More Social
Social video sharers are more likely to pass along a short clip than a longer one, by 37%--shorter clips of fifteen seconds or less are shared 37% more often than clips thirty seconds to a minute, and 18% more than clips over a minute in length.
On the one hand, that makes total sense--because the longer a video is, the less likely our friends will have time in their busy day to stop what they're doing and watch it. On the other hand, we've seen plenty of evidence that longer videos can go super-viral, which means this is not a hard and fast rule.
I'd be willing to bet that as video continues to take hold in all the various areas of our everyday lives we'll see longer and longer videos getting shared.
Facebook Is King Of Shared Video
Jun Group says that people share videos on Facebook 218% more than they do through Twitter and email combined. And frankly, if true, that's just incredible. I would have guessed that email was still widely used for sharing--we in the tech sector often forget how many tens of millions there are in the world who are not advanced computer users. Heck, we forget about the 5.5 billion people on Earth who are not Facebook members.
But Jun Group says that a whopping 76% of social video is shared through Facebook, compared to 15% through email and 9% through Twitter.
Consumer Packaged Goods Rule
Compared to other branded video, companies in the consumer packaged goods arena are the top dogs. They drive 19% more social video views than consumer electronics, retail, and media/entertainment brands combined.
Who Are the Video Sharers?
Young People: 55% of social video is viewed by 18-34 year olds, and the average age of social video viewers and sharers is 27.
Women: When you look at the gender breakdown, women account for 57% of all social video views and share video 30% more often than men do.
Southerners & Midwesterners: According to the survey, Midwesterners share video at a much higher rate than any other part of the U.S., with Southerners coming in a close second. In terms of simple video viewing, nobody watches more online video than the South. As for why, I have no idea. I cannot fathom a good reason why the south is more interested in watching online video than the north--people smarter than me feel free to let me know the reason in the comments.
I really wish we had more information about this study, because I am pretty curious about the actual data for this one. The press release says they sampled "more than six million user-initiated video views that occurred during the latter half of 2010." But that's it. There's no explanation of how they gained access to that data.
So is this all from their own internal data? Because if it is, then we have to take it with a grain of salt. There are lots of companies out there selling the same services as Jun Group--helping get views to your branded video through technology and social media--and my guess would be they'd all have slightly different numbers. Who's to say, for instance, that the survey shows more video views in the South because Jun Group just happens to have more Fortune 500 clients that are based in the South or that target customers there? The brands Jun Group works for, and the target audience for those brands, have a direct impact on the results of surveys like this.
I also can't help but see the humor in the company's heavy use of the phrase "user-initiated video view," considering they have a video that auto-plays on every page of their website. Oh well.
I have no doubt, though, that the bulk of this data is right on. Facebook is clearly the dominant video sharing pipeline, and it makes complete sense that shorter videos are shared more often. I just wish we could get more specifics on how data like this is assembled. There's no way to verify these numbers, or know how scientific the survey was, but that doesn't mean we can't gain any insight from them that we can use to inform our own viral marketing efforts.