On Sunday, France won the World Cup against Croatia 4 to 2. Croatia and France were not necessarily among the most popular 2018 FIFA World Cup teams people searched for and watched on YouTube during the past year.
Global viewers will spend an average of 67 minutes a day watching online video this year, up from 56 minutes last year, according to Zenith’s Online Video Forecasts 2018, released Monday. And by 2020, the study estimates the average person will spend 84 minutes a day watching videos online.
To get a better understanding of soccer and World Cup fans, YouTube marketers did some research to identify the national teams, players, and football-related videos trending on the platform.
Teams and players in Latin America got the most attention on YouTube's video platform this past year. The top five most popular national teams in 2017 that people searched for and viewed were Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Portugal, and Mexico.
The most popular 2018 FIFA World Cup teams in each of the world’s countries — by team watch time in 2017 — were Brazil, Argentina, Portugal, England and France.
The most popular 2018 FIFA World Cup players came from the United States, Brazil, France and England. When it came to France’s team, fans searched for videos focused on Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi.
No surprise here: Match recaps, game highlights and trick shots proved the most popular. During the past two years, YouTube research notes that the amount of time people spent watching match recaps has more than doubled.
Since the last FIFA World Cup, watch time for soccer game highlights has grown by nine-times, while watch time for soccer-related trick shots rose by 50% in the last year.
Some of the most popular were “150+ Football Soccer Skills & Tricks (Step by Step Tutorials) – Football Tricks Online” with about 17.8 million views, and “Neymar Skills- Crazy Football Soccer Skill Move Tutorial with 11.1 million views.
During the games, Google turned to mobile to giver fans more data, such as a new search experience for exploring stats and trends during the games. Within 30 minutes of the end of each game, the engine posted video recaps from select broadcasters featuring goals and highlights of major moments in each match.
To keep track of all the matches without searching, Google developed a way that allowed fans to pin real-time scores on Android phone screen from Search. The app allowed fans to find the match, and tap and drag to pin the match anywhere on your screen.
Google Assistant also provided updates on all the World Cup scores. For those wanting to keep informed about the team that won the game or the players who scored the most goals, “Hey Google” surfaced that data.