Top 100 Brands Report: Insight into Brand Content on YouTube

YouTube recently celebrated its 10th birthday, and with this milestone in mind we reflected on how YouTube has become a daily part of the lives of millions of people. Communities, both small and large, explore their passions on YouTube. Car buyers check out potential purchases with in-action auto videos, gamers discover the latest games through a deep library of trailers, and new moms gain insights around parenting from both brands and mommy vloggers. 

Ten years in, YouTube is a daily go-to destination for people who seek to connect with others around their passions and interests. In a recent survey of 18-34 year old millennials, YouTube was most selected as their favorite platform on which to watch online videos.1 Statistics like this show why YouTube is growing faster than it has in years—watch time is up 60% across devices, and 100% on mobile year over year.2

Viewers are also coming to YouTube specifically to watch content from brands. In fact, four of the top 10 trending videos on all of YouTube in 2014 were created by brands.3 We recently partnered with Pixability to analyze viewership and publishing trends from the Top 100 Brands as defined by the Interbrand 2014 Best Global Brands ranking. 

Viewership of brand content is growing
Brands are seeing an explosion of engagement and views on YouTube. Views of branded content of the top 100 brands have nearly doubled in the last 12 months: consumers have watched their videos more than 40B times in total,4 with over 18B of those views taking place in the last year.5 And brands are building sustained relationships with their viewers on YouTube: brand channel subscriptions are up 47% year over year.6  Brands like Toyota have experienced this engagement growth firsthand:   

“The benefit of a diverse platform like YouTube is they have an unparalleled ability to reach a variety of demographics,” says Dionne Colvin-Lovely, Director, Traditional & New Media, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “That aligns very well with Toyota’s diverse consumer and product lineup. YouTube allows our brand’s message to break through in an impactful way, and it offers great metrics to see if the content is resonating with the intended audience.”

Brands are becoming more active on YouTube
Brands are now adopting similar content strategies as some of our most successful creators on YouTube. They’re actively managing their YouTube channels, and publishing new content on a regular basis to engage viewers and keep them coming back. According to Pixability, the Interbrand Top 100 brands are collectively uploading a video to YouTube every 18.5 minutes.7 Also a fun fact: Thursday is the most popular day for uploads.8 

In terms of content, 10% of brand videos posted to YouTube in the last year are over 10 minutes long.9 This indicates that brands are creating made-for-YouTube content, which tends to perform better than repurposed material. Brands are realizing if they have an authentic voice, they can engage people familiar with their brand and also attract new customers. Coca-Cola is also using YouTube as a platform on which to build relationships and engage consumers with unique, relevant content:

“We love the opportunity YouTube gives Coca-Cola to interact, build relationships and share stories that are authentic and relevant to the brand,” said Chris Bigda, Director, Connections Planning & Investment, Coca-Cola North America. “We are seeing continued success on the platform, uploading higher quality content and achieving better results for it. We are really proud to be part of the YouTube community and excited by the partnership.”

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Wayfair, for example, is using YouTube to experiment with new content and reach untapped demographics:

“YouTube has become an incredibly valuable marketing tool for Wayfair by providing us with a platform to deliver new and authentic content to our customers. It's exciting to see that we're also reaching new audiences for our portfolio of brands,” said Ben Young, Media Manager- Wayfair TV and Video. “Despite our success to date, it feels like we’ve only just scratched the surface with the YouTube platform.” 

Brands are investing more on YouTube
In addition to brands creating more content for YouTube, we’re also seeing that brands are investing more in video ads to promote this content. The average spend of the top 100 video advertisers, as defined by media spend, is up 60%,10 and the number of advertisers investing in video ads is up 40% year over year.11  By investing in YouTube, these advertisers aren’t just building their brand, they’re also contributing to the YouTube ecosystem.

These first 10 years are just the beginning—we’re looking forward to seeing how brands will continue to evolve and innovate on YouTube over the next 10.

Posted by Cenk Bulbul, Head of Strategy and Insights, YouTube Ads Marketing

1. BAVC Consulting & YouTube Marketing, Custom Survey Study Millennials (150 18-34 year olds), US data July 2015
2. YouTube Global Data, Q2 2015 compared to Q2 2014
3. YouTube Trends Data, 2014
4. Top 100 Brands Pixability research, all time global data (2005-2015)
5. Top 100 Brands Pixability research, Jan to June 2014 and Jan to June 2015
6. Top 100 Brands Pixability research, Jan to June 2014 and Jan to June 2015
7. Top 100 Brands Pixability research, all time global data (2005-2015)
8. Top 100 Brands Pixability research, global data Jan to June 2014 and Jan to June 2015
9. Top 100 Brands Pixability research, global data June 2014 to June 2015
10. Google Global Data, April to June 2014 and April to June 2015, Top 100 advertisers list determined by media spend.
11. Google Global Data, April to June 2014 and April to June 2015