Nothing happens in August, right? So, if you’re reading this column, then it's probably via the smartphone, tablet or laptop that you brought along with you to the tony island, cape or seashore where you're summering.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but things do happen in August.
For example, if you’re busy surfboarding, snorkeling, or swimming along the coast, then you might not know that “Shark Week” premiered yesterday on the Discovery Channel. This means you may not have watched “Shark Week 2013 - Snuffy the Seal | Sunday Aug 4 9|8c” and you might not realize – until it’s too late – that “it’s a bad week to be a seal.”
But wait, there’s more!
As the Think Insights hub says, “YouTube Insights is our new quarterly report that brings you the latest statistics, trends and insights on online video from across YouTube and Google, keeping you up to date with how video can help you engage your audiences and achieve business impact.”
And there are some new stats in the report that you’ll want to find out sooner rather than later. For example, you won’t want to wait until after Labor Day to discover that:
- YouTube reaches more US adults aged 18-34 than any cable network,
- There are now 317 channels with more than 1 million subscribers,
- DOVE racked up 163 million global views for its new campaign, and
- YouTube could help you achieve 1-3% sales lift at no additional cost.
Let’s take a quick look at each stat.
About 8 months ago, we took a look at Generation V. Well, Google has updated its psychographic profile of YouTube’s core audience and now calls people who care deeply about creation, curation, connection, and community Gen C.
Gen C isn’t an age group: 65 percent are under 35, and 35 percent are 35 and older. Gen C is an attitude and mindset. Here’s some new data on the key characteristics of this powerful new force in culture and commerce:
- Creation: 65% have uploaded a video they shot, and 25% upload videos every week.
- Curation: 90% say they can’t keep content they find online to themselves.
- Connection: 50% talk to friends after watching a video and 38% share videos on an additional social network after watching them on YouTube.
- Community: 55% are connected to 100 or more people through social sites, while 15% are connected to 500 or more.
And as Suzie Reider, the Director of Media Solutions at Google, said in her opening keynote at the 2013 Video Marketing Summit, Gen C influences $500 billion of spending a year in the U.S.
But even if you just look at the members of Gen C who are under 35, it’s a huge audience. According to Nielsen data for March 2013, YouTube tops all cable networks in the US in reaching 18-34 year olds, ahead of TBS, FX, Comedy Central, AMC, MTV, E!, and ESPN. And according to comScore Video Metrix for June 2013, viewers spend more time watching videos on YouTube than on the other top five online video properties – AOL, Facebook, VEVO, Yahoo!, and Hulu -- combined.
So, YouTube has an audience that looks like Megalodon, the giant white shark species that is regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators in vertebrate history. It makes Sharknado, which debuted on the SyFy Channel last month, seem like a day at the beach.
What kind of content engages this audience? Well, there are now 317 channels with more than 1 million subscribers, up from 170 channels with more than 1 million subscribers earlier in the first half of 2013.
Some of the top YouTube channels – like smosh, PewDiePie, Ray William Johnson, nigahiga, Rihanna VEVO, Hola Soy German, and Machinima – also appear in the Popular Channels chart on YouTube. But others may come as a surprise – including ones in the lifestyle, sports, entertainment, education, news, and music categories.
And advertisers are using YouTube to reach audiences that are bigger than the Super Bowl’s – even in months through the year without the big game. For example, “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” was launched in April 2013. The ad topped the YouTube Ads Leaderboard’s Cannes edition, which was published in June 2013, with 163 million global views.
How did they do it? And how do other brands make the most of YouTube’s potential?
According to the case study in YouTube Video Insights, Dove started by conducting research, which found out that only 4 percent of women globally consider themselves beautiful and 54 percent agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic.
Then, to bring this research to life, Dove produced a 3-minute video, “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”, about how women view themselves. With the support of TrueView, YouTube homepage masthead and search ads, Dove launched its video in 25 languages across 46 Dove YouTube channels, creating one of the most watched ads ever.
Dove encouraged viewers to share its moving video through its YouTube brand channels, Google+ Hangouts and Google+ page. “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” not only topped the Cannes YouTube Ads Leaderboard, it also won the Titanium Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
What does all this mean for you? Marketers can achieve 1-3% sales lift at no additional cost by spending an average of 5% of their media budget on YouTube, according to media mix models run by MarketShare in partnership with Google. By the way, the media mix model takes into account the impact of earned and owned media, in addition to paid media in generating sales impact.
Finally, VidCon was held Aug. 1-3 at the Anaheim Convention Center. So, if you’ve dropped off-the-grid for the month of August, then you would have missed Laurie Sullivan’s story in MediaPost about one of the announcements made at the event. According to Sullivan, “YouTube plans to open YouTube Space NY, giving creators a place to make content. The space in the Chelsea Marketplace district, scheduled to open by October 2014, will span about 20,000 to 25,000 square feet. “
Okay, so maybe you won’t turn into shark bait if you didn’t catch this last bit of news. But, you would have missed another announcement by the YouTube Team of more tools to build your channels. The announcement of a bunch of features was recapped on the YouTube Creator Blog, so you can read it for yourself. They include:
- Live streaming: All channels in good standing with at least a hundred subscribers will be able to live stream, within the next few weeks. Check your Account Features page for an “Enable” button, and click it if you're interested.
- Custom thumbnails: Help your video stand out by using a custom thumbnail. Make sure you only upload images that are representative of what viewers will see, like prominent stills from the video.
- External annotations: Want viewers to buy that new t-shirt you’re wearing in your video? You can now use annotations to link externally to various online stores and your associated websites.
- Series playlists: Help viewers watch more of your videos by placing them in a series playlist. When you group videos that belong together, we’ll show viewers of your videos the next episode from the series and a link to the whole playlist. Just mark your playlist as a “series” in the playlist settings.
All of these new opportunities and threats arrived in August – when nothing supposedly happens – and it’s just the beginning of the month. And let’s face it: we’d be shark bait if we didn’t learn about most of this news until after Labor Day, right?