Once again TubeMogul has released some pretty awesome statistical analysis regarding how people find videos online, from embeds on blogs to video search engines. For a two-month period, they recorded inbound URLs for a sample of over 35 million video streams from six top video sites. But which sources drive the most video views? Here are some of the highlighted statistics that I found truly interesting:
45% of viewers find a video by direct navigation to a video site (i.e. going to YouTube and searching or clicking around the featured or related videos).
No surprise here given that over 10 hours of video footage are uploaded to YouTube every minute that going directly to the video sharing sites and searching would be the top method of finding videos.
In terms of individual web sites referring traffic, no single source dominated, here are the top 20 individual referrers:
|Site||Share of Video Referrals|
However, since there are a limited number of players in certain areas online, TubeMogul was able to infer that:
- 11.18% of all traffic comes from search engines
- 3.66% comes from social networks
- 3.19% comes from social bookmarking sites
- 0.63% derives from video search engines
- 0.05% is directed from Email/IM
- 80.88% makes up the rest of the referred traffic…of this mix it is almost completely made up of blogs from the thousands of different blogs they scanned.
Here are the really interesting facts here:
Digg beats StumbleUpon by nearly 0.4% for video referrals
I wouldn’t have guessed that. When I share videos on both social bookmarking sites my traffic from StumbleUpon is nearly triple the traffic I receive from Digg. StumbleUpon is my #4 traffic source for the website (which of course does include my blog posts) bringing in 9.97% of my site traffic while Digg is my #10 source of traffic (also including my blog posts) accounting for about 3.85% of all my site traffic. About half of my bookmarks are for videos while the other half are for blog posts (possibly even this one will end up on both). Of course this is just me and I am not profiling over 35 million videos for my statistics.
0.05% is directed from Email/IM
This I find staggering to be so low. One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to get people to share your videos is through email marketing – particularly to an existing base of people who have opted in to receive your email newsletter. In a recent post about integrating video into your email marketing campaign I found that there was a significant 175% increase in click-throughs when video content was included in an email campaign. It sounds like a lot of people are missing the boat on this possible distribution channel.
Blogs sourcing most of the 80.88% of all referred traffic in this sample.
To those trying to make a video go viral, this should be telling you to reach out to relevant bloggers who could help you tremendously with the push for video views.
0.63% derives from video search engines
This is bad news to the ever increasing number of online video search sites that seem to keep popping up promising to help your video go viral or supposedly helping you search. With less than a 1% take, that doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence. I’ve long held that most of these sites have very little value to the online video producer – this study just proves my theory.
So the real take-a-way here…
…is engaging bloggers to work with you by sharing the video with them. If nearly 81% of video traffic is coming from blogs it only makes sense to try and engage relevant bloggers to share your video. The other real key that isn’t really discussed is to make sure you optimize a video’s meta-data to ensure it can easily be found by those who are searching.