Google searches referred 38.92% of all streams according to new collaborative TubeMogul & Brightcove research. The companies have teamed up to create a new online video index and quarterly research report, which will help identify key industry trends and answer questions about the state of the industry.

According to the report Google generates the highest volume of referral traffic to online video content, followed by Yahoo!, Bing and Facebook. However, compared to search engines and other social media sites, Twitter referrals generate the highest level of consumer engagement for online video content from broadcast networks, magazine publishers and music labels. Newspaper publishers see the highest level of engagement from viewers who find their content via Yahoo!.

But how truly massive is that Google Search number? It's the largest external source and the others pale in comparison. Yahoo provides roughly 5.6%, Bing roughly 2.3% and Facebook a mere 0.4%. Where, you might ask, are the rest of the discoveries coming from?  51.75 percent of all video streams in the sample were discovered via direct traffic. So it goes to show that while ranking high in Google will certainly bring in some video traffic, having your own site that is easy to find and full of valuable content still reigns supreme. Of course it's hard to say just how many of those direct traffic-based video streams came from people who originally found your site via a search engine.

But there's another major feature of the research. How they find your content also determines how long they will interact with it:

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Average minutes watched per stream by referrer:

  • Broadcast networks: Google (1:38 min), Yahoo! (1:22 min), Bing (1:37 min), Twitter (1:52 min), and Facebook (1:38 min).
  • Magazine publishers: Google (1:12 min), Yahoo! (1:02 min), Bing (0:57 min), Twitter (1:23 min), and Facebook (1:13 min).
  • Music labels: Google (2:01 min), Yahoo! (1:32 min), Bing (2:11 min), Twitter (2:33 min), and Facebook (2:04 min).
  • Newspaper publishers: Google (1:19 min), Yahoo! (1:20 min), Bing (1:19 min), Twitter (1:19 min), and Facebook (1:09 min).

So Twitter reigns supreme for most categories and Yahoo! is the source for news by a very narrow margin.

The research should certainly allow online marketers to better focus their efforts on the places that best serve their companies and clients. Obviously for news you want to rank high on Yahoo!, for music, magazines and broadcast you want to have a strong Twitter presence and for just about everything you want to do well in Google's search rankings. After all 39% is nothing to sneeze at.

The report covers a great deal more than just what I've covered here. But I figure you can go read the rest for yourself and draw your own conclusions from it. I'm sure it will become the topic of boardrooms and business dinners for weeks and months to come.

  • jeremwiddup

    Love the insight to data - There is no where better.....however I keep getting stuck on terms relating to Google. That is on this and a few other reports - Is "Google searches" refering to searches on all Google properties (Google Places, YouTube, Google.Video etc) or just from

  • vidiSEO

    Quick question on this. Does the Google number (36%) include YouTube or is that straight up from the big G ?

    • Mark Robertson

      straight up big G because it is referrals to brightcove video content.

      • vidiSEO

        Didn't realize it was just for Brightcove videos. Thought it was for all online video since it involved Tubemogul. I was pretty shocked because, in their older report, Tubemogul said that Google-proper only accounted for ~8% of all video discovery. My initial reaction of "DAAAAMN!" has been downgraded to "sweet".

  • Ronnie Bincer

    I have not read the referenced report yet, but I wonder how many of those Twitter referrals are being seen on Google SERP since now those Tweets seem to be showing up there a lot more!

    If so, that points back to our friends at Google being even bigger at "pointing" to our videos.