Google Explores Nuances Of Branded Content On YouTube

Likes and dislikes on YouTube give brands feedback when producing and publishing content, helping marketers and content producers understand why viewers search for their material.

Despite the fact that some viewers are more critical of certain brands compared with others, analysis can tell brands when viewers drop off or if they are staying around to view more. To get a sense of what brand content on YouTube looks like, Google has partnered with Pixability to analyze viewership and publishing trends from the Top 100 Brands as defined by the Interbrand 2014 Best Global Brands ranking.

The Top 100 Brands in aggregate have a total of a 40 billion views across content on their channels. Nearly half of these views happened within the last year. The number of monthly views among the top 100 brands on YouTube rose 55% from last year, and the number of videos among the top 100 brands with more than 1 million views grew 29% from 2014 to 2015.

The data provides insights into the industries with the most likes and dislikes. Financial services took top honors for the most dislikes, and media companies like Disney typically received the most likes, said Pixability CTO Andreas Goeldi. "Viewers clearly express when they're not happy," he said. "There are examples of videos where there are more thumbs down than thumbs up because people don't believe the message."

Overall, the analysis tallied 90 million likes on videos from the top 100 brands, and 8.9 million dislikes. There are 16 million comments on their videos, and 73 million total subscribers to the top 100 brand channels on YouTube.

Subscribership of brand channels grew 47% compared with the prior year; people just don't watch the videos they subscribe to the channels. It's a way for brands to build relationships with viewers.

Search behavior on YouTube differs from traditional engines. YouTube searches tend to focus on tutorial content and reviews, where Google is more transactional. Around Black Friday, trending searches on YouTube were about tablet reviews to research product information and view reviews, whereas searches focused on "cheap tablets" and "tablet discounts."

About 10% of brand videos uploaded to YouTube in the past year are 10 minutes or longer, which shows that brands are experimenting with creating longer form, made-for-YouTube content, versus traditional 15- or 30-second spots.

Some of them do not mention the brand's name. Red Bull pioneered content videos highlighting sports, yet never mentioned the brand. American Express followed by producing videos that give advice to small businesses, while Western Union took a photojournalism crew on the road across the U.S. to ask people if they believe in the American dream. 

Last year, brands in the beauty industry like L'Oreal began to collaborate closely with independent YouTube personalities, some with 1 million+ subscribers. Now, the electronics industry has begun to move in the same direction, along with financial services and luxury brands.

Overall, the top 100 brands have uploaded 611,000 videos to YouTube to date. The Top 100 brand channels in aggregate posted a new video every 18.5 minutes in 2015. Collectively, the top 100 brands own and operate 2,434 channels on YouTube, meaning that each of these brands have an average of 24.3 channels.

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