A recent Forbes.com blog post reports that AT&T and T-Mobile are gaining customers faster than Verizon in recent fiscal quarters. According to the post, in the first three months of 2014, Verizon had its lowest customer increase in two years (549,000), while AT&T "improved its net adds by 30% sequentially to over 1 million, and T-Mobile added 2.4 million." The data is based on research by mobile industry analyst Chetan Sharma.
Verizon vs AT&T vs T-Mobile on YouTube
Based on these changes to the market, it can be instructive to evaluate Verizon's YouTube footprint in relation to AT&T and T-Mobile. At Octoly we looked at these carriers (plus Sprint) to compare their overall views on the companies' owned channels. Then we looked at the brands' overall share of voice among videos on fan-created channels. In both areas, Verizon, lags behind these other two brands.
Of course, correlation does not equal causation – meaning that just because Verizon is behind on YouTube doesn't mean that it's the reason they losing ground in the marketplace. But it is likely that better use of the YouTube community could help their branding and customer acquisition efforts. It's worth noting that AT&T and Verizon have other products such as high-speed Internet, but in this study we only broke out only for brand names, rather than on a product-by-product basis.
YouTube User-generated Content for Wireless Carriers
First, we looked at each company's share of customers. Sharma said that for the U.S. Verizon and AT&T are now tied with a 34% share of the cell phone market. Sprint has 16%, T-Mobile 14%, and US Cellular, two percent.
In order to get as fair a comparison as possible, we weeded out international YouTube channels for T-Mobile, which has a significant overseas business. Even so, they had a significant advantage in total owned and paid views over the others, with 19.5 million views, or 64% all-time YouTube share of voice. AT&T was second with 8.8 million overall views and 29% share of voice. Verizon was third with 1.7 million views, and 5.5%. Sprint had 470,000, at about 1.5%.
On U.S.-based YouTube channels not owned by these brands (aka user-generated content, or earned media), Verizon similarly lagged behind at 4 million views, around 5.1% share of voice, just ahead of Sprint with 3.8 million views and 4.8%. AT&T led the pack with 51.3 million views and 66% of all views. T-Mobile was second with 19 million earned views and 24% share of voice.
So based on our data, AT&T and T-Mobile are doing better on YouTube than Verizon, which is also not doing as well in customer growth. YouTube could be a helpful component in their overall solution to grow their business.