Research - Online Video Viewership Peaks Early

Research   Online Video Viewership Peaks EarlyTubemogul recently released the results of a new study to determine when the most view occur in the life-cycle of an online video. Here are the results of their study:

"We set out with a simple question: throughout the life of a video, do most views occur in the first few days and weeks or are they distributed randomly over time? Since TubeMogul tracks millions of videos, we turned to the data and were surprised to find such a robust trend: viewership peaks early.

Methodology

Our sample includes data for views by day for 10,916 videos over a 90 day time period. In order to exclude casual creators of online video (i.e. "Mikey's Birthday”), each video in the sample achieved a minimum of 1,000 cumulative views over the 90 day time period. A statistician fit a curve to the data and projected out views by day for a full year. All data is from videos deployed by TubeMogul.

Results

For the most part, the data speaks for itself, with the graphs clearly skewing right by all measures.

  • Below: a breakdown of views by day as a percentage of total views over 90 days. Significantly, 50% of all views occur in the first two weeks, peaking at day three, which constitutes 11% of all views.

Research   Online Video Viewership Peaks Early

  • A scatterplot of total views by day for all 10,916 videos

Research   Online Video Viewership Peaks Early

  • Average views per video per day over a 90 day time period:

Research   Online Video Viewership Peaks Early

One Year Forecasts

  • Our approximated curve, compared to known data points (note day 36, in which one video "went viral," pushing up the data point):

Research   Online Video Viewership Peaks Early

  • A breakdown of views by day as a percentage of total views, with a full year forecasted:

Research   Online Video Viewership Peaks Early

  • A density function representing percentage of annual views by day:

Research   Online Video Viewership Peaks Early

Conclusions

On average, videos are time-sensitive. Trends pointed out elsewhere, such as "evergreen" (non-time sensitive) content always fetching views or videos randomly "going viral," seem more of a rarity than an underlying trend in the data.

However, since we only projected out to one year, we effectively capped a long tail that over time might add up to a significant percentage of overall views. Even in our one-year forecast, it is interesting that after 154 days, a typical video still has 25% of its annual views left–hardly a "flash in a pan," although the long tail is declining in potency over time as the function approaches the x axis.”

Video creators: Tubemogul has a tool for predicting online views based off this reasearch and you can find it at the bottom of this page.

About the Author -
Mark Robertson is the Founder and Publisher of ReelSEO, an online information resource dedicated to the fusion of video, technology, social media, search, and internet marketing. He is a YouTube Certified, video marketing consultant and video marketing expert, popular speaker, and considered to be a passionate leader within the online video and search marketing industries. View All Posts By -

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