Of all the channels comprising the YouTube Top 5000 as of October 5th, just 74 (less than 2%) were brands, according to [download page] a new report from TouchStorm, although its criteria for inclusion as a “brand” excludes many media companies and sports brands. To make the top 5,000 most successful channels, publishers needed 43 million lifetime views, up from 36 million in June. The average for the top brands was well above that figure – coming in at roughly 122.5 million – although about one-third of the best-performing brands “bought” their way in by investing heavily in YouTube advertising, with YouTube counting 15- and 30-second pre-rolls as views.
(More details on the criteria for inclusion as a “brand” can be found in the methodology section at the end of this article.)
The figures come on the heels of news out from Unruly suggesting that brands are having more success penetrating Instagram video: 40% of the 1,000 most-shared Instagram videos last month were branded, per that study.
Returning to the TouchStorm data, the study reveals that the average number of subscribers (people who chose to be notified every time the brand releases new content) for the top 74 brands was 278,904. That translates to 2,276 subscribers per million views.
Interestingly, the top brands appear to be gaining success through frequent content publishing and organic growth rather than as the byproduct of a few viral videos. That’s because the “view concentration” – a metric that looks at the percentage of total views coming from the publisher’s top 3 videos – for the group stands at 27.1%. For context, TouchStorm indicates that a figure below 20% means the brands is having success through organic growth and regular content posting, while a figure above 70% indicates that success is based much more heavily on the virality of a few select videos.
Here are the top 5 brands by number of views, as of October 5:
- Google: 754 million views; 2.2 million subscribers; 1,569 videos; 9.8% of views from top 3.
- Red Bull: 648 million views; 2.9 million subscribers; 3,315 videos; 12.8% of views from top 3.
- Marvel Entertainment: 434.7 million views; 0.8 million subscribers; 2,111 videos; 16.5% of views from top 3.
- Barbie: 305.7 million views; 0.3 million subscribers; 1,084 videos; 19.1% of views from top 3.
- GoPro: 296.4 million views; 1.2 million subscribers; 527 videos; 20.5% of views from top 3.
A list of September’s top 10 brand movers on YouTube by subscriber growth, as provided by Socialbakers (and tracked monthly by MarketingCharts) can be found here.
- Top brands such as Apple, IBM and Microsoft failed to make the list of Top 5,000 YouTube channels.
- Turkish Airlines, Dove, Head & Shoulders Brazil and Infini Cosmetics each had View Concentration Scores above 90.
- Red Bull, Native Instruments, Toys ‘R Us, HTC, Fender Guitars, CrossFit and Livestrong had View Concentration Scores under 15.
About the Data: According to TouchStorm, eligibility to be included in the list is as follows:
“Individuals as Brands
+ We do not include famous Individuals who have become their own brands, like Taylor Swift and Beyonce, but we do include brands who meet the above definition and sponsor famous individuals and have the right to use them to attract viewers to their content.
+ We do not include YouTube personalities who have become so big that they are now able to own mass- market brands, like Michelle Phan’s EM Cosmetics.
+ We do include individuals who have become companies and who market products or services other than content, when the market for those products and services is bigger than the market for their content, like Martha Stewart.
Media Companies as Brands
+ We do not include brands whose primary business includes making moving picture content. This includes the record companies (music videos), movie studios (Sony Pictures Entertainment), TV shows (The Voice, Sesame Street), broadcast or cable channels (NBC, History Channel), or specific video games that can be played online.
+ It does include game-makingbrands (likeEA,Nintendo), who are using YouTube to promote their products.
+ We also include brands who meet the above definition and have created broadcast content as a brand, and have the rights to it, like the Victoria’s Secret TV special being posted to YouTube.
+ We do not include content publishing brands who are in business solely to make content, like Howdini and ExpertVillage. However, we do include print publishers who have expanded their offerings to manufacturing or retailing, and are using their YouTube channel to promote that, like the Smithsonian using video to promote its museums.
Sports Teams and Leagues as Brands
+ We do not include professional sports brands, like the NBA or WWE. However, we do include brands who meet the above definition and sponsor a sport where they have rights to to use footage as part of their sponsorship, like NikeFutebol.
Entertainment as Brands
+ We do include independent entertainment brands whose primary interest is selling tickets instead of broadcast rights or advertising, like the Harlem Globetrotters, Disney Parks and Cirque d’Soleil.
Google as a Brand
+ We do not include Google’s myriad of channels that make the YouTube Top 5000, other than the Google channel ranked #1.”