An interview with YouTube Head of Content Strategy Jamie Byrne has been posted on AdAge. The interview checks in on the company’s Original Channels Initiative, which was launched last year. The new stats reveal that 20 of the 100 channels that received funding now average at least one million views each week.
AdAge does a good job of tracking all of these channels to chronicle which particular ones have performed the best. Warner Music’s THE WARNER SOUND channel is solidly in first place in terms of weekly views, receiving over nine million in one seven day period. Tubefilter favorites like SourceFed (ranked #3), Clevver News (#7), and Mondo Media (#12) are among the other channels that have consistently averaged over a million views a week. The actual channels that break a million views each week varies depending on trending videos and release schedules, but last week’s top 25 original channels all garnered over 730,000 views.
One of the main takeaways from the interview with Byrne, however, is that views are less important than subscribers. For instance, THE WARNER SOUND gets a lot of views due in part to the large number of music videos the channel hosts. Flo Rida’s ‘Whistle’ video has 75% of the channel’s views by itself. Byrne is more interested in viewers who will subscribe.”We’ve shifted the focus from being just about views to being about watch-time,” Byrne explained, “Because we actually do think that watch-time is a better indicator of viewers being engaged with the content on YouTube.” In terms of subscribers, 24 of the 100 channels have over 100,000, with Machinima leading the way (the platform’s main channel has over 4.7 million subscribers).
Overall, Byrne believes that the still-growing group of original channels has been a paradigm-shifting success:
We think that this initiative has changed the way that the creative community thinks about YouTube; it’s really changed the way that they think about digital video. We think that that is great for the viewer. They get to see content that is amazing quality. And then it’s also great for advertisers because they get to associate their brand with fantastic quality content and creators that viewers know and love.
Byrne will speak on YouTube and online video in further detail when he talks at AdAge’s Digital Conference tomorrow in San Francisco. It’s a good excuse to get on the west coast in time for Social Media Week Los Angeles next week.