While Mark Robertson and I were busy speaking at SES San Francisco last week, comScore and YouTube rolled out Partner Reporting, a new feature that highlights the dedicated audiences garnered by YouTube content partners. Since we were tied up talking about "Next Gen YouTube Marketing" and answering questions in "SEW Labs: The Use of Video in Social Media," I guess we can't complain that Edmund Lee of Ad Age Digital broke the story: "What the Most Popular Channel on YouTube?”
By the way, the answer to Lee's question is VEVO (#1) with 59.7 million unique viewers in July 2011 – which is almost 37.8 percent of YouTube's almost 158.1 million total unique viewers that month. Now, if you consider VEVO, a joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Abu Dhabi Media, to be a music "platform" instead of a "channel," then the answer to Lee's question is Warner Music (#2) with almost 31.3 million unique viewers.
Now, the fact that music videos are popular isn't the kind of breaking news that would have prompted a newspaper editor to stop the presses back in the 20th Century. What do qualify as "man bites dog" stories are some of the other YouTube content partners – independent and professional, bedroom and broadcast – who have popular channels.
For example, I would have bet dollars to donuts that comedians like Smosh (#14) and nigahiga (#19) would have ranked higher. To be fair, Smosh's almost 3.1 million unique viewers and nigahiga's more than 2.4 million unique viewers are nothing to sneeze at. But Smosh's channel has almost 3.2 million subscribers and nigahiga's has close to 4.3 million. So, it appears that their kind of quirky humor is an acquired taste that only their loyal subscribers have acquired.
Top 10 YouTube Partner Channels for July 2011
On the other hand, check out some of the partners and channels that made it into the top 10: Machinima (#3) with more than 16.9 million unique viewers, Demand Media (#4) with over 15.2 million, Maker Studios (#5) with more than 11.4 million, Revision3 (#6) with almost 7.6 million, ClevverTV (#7) with over 7.3 million, Associated Press (#8) with close to 6.6 million, IGN (#9) with almost 5.9 million, and Next New Networks (#10) with close to 4.8 million.
Machinima.com is the premier online entertainment network showing trailers, gameplay, montages and original series created in video games. Machinima's channel has almost 2.6 billion total upload views (that's billion with a "b”) and close to 3.2 million subscribers (that's million with an "m”). Other Machinima channels include: Mondo Mini Shows with close to 937 million total upload views and almost 720,000 subscribers, Machinima Respawn with more than 639 million total upload views and over 1.4 million subscribers, and Rooster Teeth with almost 638 million total upload views and over 1.2 million scribers.
Demand Media is a leading online media company that informs, entertains and connects millions of people every day. Through a portfolio of vertical web properties, a global network of digital partners, and a breakthrough content studio, Demand Media publishes what the world wants to know and share. Demand Media has more than 3.2 billion network video views and almost 1.7 million network subscribers. Demand Media channels include: Expert Village with more than 2.1 billion total upload views and close to 998,000 subscribers, eHow with almost 135 million total upload views and close to 161,000 subscribers, and LIVESTRONG.com with almost 37 million total upload views and almost 79,000 subscribers.
Maker Studios is a collaborative studio/network that features Lisa Donovan (aka LisaNova ), Shay Butler (aka ShayCarl), and Kassem Gharaibeh (aka KassemG). The company recently got another $2.5 million in venture funding, which brings its total funding to $4 million. If Maker Studios isn't a household name yet, neither was United Artists in 1919 with it was founded by Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and D. W. Griffith.
In fact, all of the YouTube partners and channels that made it into the top 10 have audiences that are larger than the top 10 ad-supported cable TV networks for the week ending Aug 14, 2011 (USA with a household rating of close to 2.3 million, Disney with over 1.9 million, Fox News with over 1.8 million, TNT with almost 1.7 million, History with over 1.5 million, A&E Network with more than 1.3 million, ESPN with almost 1.2 million, Food with over 1.0 million, Nick at Night with more than 1.0 million, and HGTV with almost 1.0 million.)
So, take a second look at the list. You're looking at new media moguls in the making.