In this week's Reel Web, we discuss several online video trends and updates from the past week including: more updates and changes at YouTube, Comscore's most recent stats around online video consumption, Viacom's interest in social tv, and a look at some new studies that indicate how you can make your videos be more social.

Comscore Reveals Online Video Viewing Increase

As we discussed last week, online video viewing habits are increasing.  Comscore's April Video Metrix report shows that video viewing has gone up 46% in the last year.  The study reveals that the average American watched 21.8 hours of online video last month, whereas in April 2011 that number was just shy of 15 minutes.

More Changes On YouTube & Spring Cleaning

YouTube continues to make additions to their site.  The most recent is the addition of the Google + button.  It's a small button they have on the pages that will add whatever video you are watching to your list of +1 links on your Google account.  It works similar to the Twitter or Facebook icons that allow you to post videos to your social networking feeds.

YouTube has also begun to clean up inactive accounts.  This may result in your subscriber count dropping, but keep in mind, this does not mean you are getting less views - as inactive subscribers are not watching your videos anyway, but YouTube is just removing the old accounts.  In a few weeks YouTube expects to have these all cleaned up and then online content providers can get a real look at their honest subscriber count.

Finally, for those YouTube partners who were given access to the store feature, which enables you to sell items from your channel, YouTube is now also supporting CafePress.  This may be a better storefront option to use then what was previously offered on YouTube.

Viacom's Study: How Social TV is Influencing Engagement

Viacom's most recent study revolved around social TV and the way viewers are socializing while watching TV.

56% of the people that responded to this survey said that they used the TV shows or the network’s social app on their mobile device to talk with friends, to check out other clips, behind the scenes stuff to really just engage with their friends to talk about it while they’re watching the show live together. 54% of the people who socialized while watching TV said they do so through Facebook chat, through text messaging, face time or Skype or some other service that exists outside of the TV shows.  While tablets are still popular, only 18% of them say they use a tablet for socializing while watching TV and the other 82% say that they prefer to just do it on devices such as their phones.

What do the people who use these social TV apps say that they want from them?

  • 88% want more full length featured episodes
  • 75% want teasers of upcoming episodes to kind of see what’s going to happen on the next episode of the show that they’re watching
  • 71% want behind the scenes looks, kind of making-of and what’s going on that wasn’t really a part of the main episode like behind the scenes stuff

The study found the leading source of discovery of social TV services is through search (38%), followed by social networks (26%) and ads run on shows (22%).

QUESTION: How can you encourage social viewing for your videos?