Break Out The Egg Nog And Watch Some YouTube

Something a little weird is happening this Christmas season. According to Tubular Labs, in the business of analytically slicing and dicing YouTube views in fascinating ways, viewership of YouTube Christmas-themed videos is up this year over last.

And we’re not talking a little bit, either.

Tubular Labs CEO Rob Gabel predicts by the time Santa takes the red coat to the dry cleaner, worldwide consumption of Christmas videos via YouTube will have gone up 67% over a year ago.

Part of that is because viewership of YouTube, like viewership of the Internet, is going up, but part of it is, well, who knows?

“I think part of it is that people are trying to figure out how to use various social touchpoints, so more people are saying, ‘OK, Christmas is coming up. I have to make Christmas videos.’ “ By “people” Gabel is including advertisers who are learning Christmas videos get their share of shares, and in the United Kingdom, as well documented, Christmas videos from merchants this year are all the rage. “It looks like in the UK, it’s just a thing,” Gabel says.



New video isn’t always what it’s all about.

“In the last 90 days,” Gabel told me a week or so ago, “there have been 1.4 billion views of Christmas videos, and of those, 344 million were of videos uploaded in the last 90 days.. That means 75% of the views are coming from videos from prior Christmases.”

Maybe it’s that YouTube videos are getting to be traditional. Like “It’s A Wonderful LIfe” or something?

That could be a mind-set to tap into. Longhorn Steakhouse just today released a version of the old WPIX-TV YuleLog replacing the logs with one steaks. And the trade Web site this week actually compiled a list of this year’s top 15 videos “to share with friends and family.”

There’s a lot of that going on apparently. On the day after Thanksgiving this year, Tubular Labs shows there were almost 60 million views that day alone. That number wasn’t reached last year on any day until almost mid-December.

This year in the 14 days from Thanksgiving to Dec. 10, there  were 579 million video views on YouTube. Last year, there were 239 million. That’s a 147% increase, for those of you keeping score at home.

Typically, Gabel says, 70% of YouTube views come from international markets, even for U.S.-made videos. But 55% of Christmas video views come from U.S. viewers, 20% from the United Kingdom, and 6% from Canada. It goes into very small pieces from there.

Those percentages mask the aforementioned prowess of the British Christmas video maker. It’s an art form, practically. That John Lewis department store ad, “Monty the Penguin” has more than 20 million views since Nov. 6. The Sainsbury ad recreates that historic, momentary truce in December, 1914, when British and German soldiers left their trenches to celebrate Christmas together, and by legend, played a game of soccer before getting back to killing each other. Over 15 million people have seen that one, and Gabel, notes, even “the-making-of” video of that commercial is among the best watched Christmas videos of this season.
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