Online video popularity and subscription trends

Posted by Simone Redelinghuys
Simone Redelinghuys
A student journalist currently specializing in New Media at Rhodes University. I
User is currently offline
on Monday, 21 May 2012
in Digital Blogs

Earlier this year Robert Kyncl, the Head of Global Partnerships for YouTube, stressed that online video would become 'the' channel for entertainment distribution. This predication seems likely with the increased distribution of internet-connected television and rise of social TV. But the new wave of broadcast innovation is not just about how we watch; it’s also about what we watch.

My previous post on the ‘Digital Content New Fronts’, emphasized that advertisers needed to assess what content online viewers or consumers find valuable. It was stressed that online video cannot re-use traditional advertising models, rather they need to invent new ones to fit the niche target audience the online video sphere has developed.

Online channel expansion and audience fragmentation or niches have lead to advertisers and producers steering their attention towards web-based channels and online content. With new advances and popularity of internet connected devices and televisions, the use of streaming video has been seen to grow. eMarketer’s recent study has emphasized that the online video cash pie is expected to continue to grow with video advertising spending expected to jump 3.1billion dollars.

Furthermore eMarketer has show that streaming services have continued to draw users to online video and streaming videos of user-generated content remain most popular.

Recent trends at the Digital UpFronts have echoed the increased interest of advertisers in the online video sphere. Video continues to be the fastest growing online ad format-but what makes an online video popular and where are these videos viewed?

User-generated content dominates

YouTube still reigns the online viewing sphere with more than 3 billion video views per day and 60 hours of video content uploaded every minute. In fact the company announced it had logged 1 trillion hits in 2011 and expects to reach an even wider audience during 2012.

Cute babies, cats, embarrassing accidents, music videos, vloggers and comedians seem to dominate their channels. From as far back as the first 20 video’s uploaded onto YouTube in 2006; these video genres have emphasised that online viewing is all about entertainment. YouTube Trends Manager, Kevin Allocca, recently discussed what he believes makes videos go ‘viral’ and what content consumers will continue to seek:

Currently Ray William Johnson holds the top YouTube channel with 5.3 million subscribers . His channel showcases comic reviews on different YouTube videos. Also in the ranks of top ten subscribed channels are Machinima, Jenna Marbles and Epic Meal Time.  

While individual videos still rank in millions of subscriptions; newsmakers, politicians and broadcast networks have also all turned to the site to distribute content. YouTube provides the platform for niche content creators that produce videos which would likely not be show or published via traditional media.

Trends reduplicated in New Channels

This has lead to the 2012 YouTube roll out of professionally produced niche channels and shows in attempt to increase the amount of time people spend on the site. These shows will use similar trends to already popular online video genres. The Bowery Presents, Rainn Wilson’s Soul Pancake Sizzle and eHow Pets are a few of these shows.  

While TV offers limited airtime and predetermined programming, YouTube offers infinite options that viewers can choose from. Video may have killed the radio star but it seems vloggers and their streaming content will steal TV celebrity fame.

Stay tuned to Online Primetime for more news, trends and topics on broadcast.

Related Links

YouTube to boost original, professional channels

YouTube coverts TV gold with new channels

Hunger for online content remains undiminished

YouTube the future of entertainment is on the Web

A student journalist currently specializing in New Media at Rhodes University. I have previously specialised in Radio Production. These views are my own.


Jude has not set their biography yet
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Jude Saturday, 26 May 2012

Local is lekker

Any idea how the trends in online video use (mainly Youtube) plays itself out in the South African market - and what this means for video producers? For example, while we have between 13-15% wired Internet penetration, it is reckoned that Youtube videos have up to 47% penetration? Is this through secondary devices like videos downloaded and shared on mobile phones etc.

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