Outrigger Media has released the 2014 edition of its yearly examination of the most popular brands on YouTube. The online video analytics company’s report covers the top 500 brands on YouTube, breaking them down by industry, view count, and a number of other dividers.
The report does not include any entertainment brand, as Outrigger instead focuses on “marketers who aren’t typically required to be in the content creation business by nature, but have chosen to do so largely based on the ‘earned media’ opportunity offered by YouTube and its monthly US audience base of more than 120 million.” (Outrigger comes entertainment brands in separate studies.) In the year since Outrigger’s previous Top 500 report, views have gone up by 70%. The featured brands now combine for 722 million monthly views, 41 million total subscribers, and an average of 136,000 views per video.
A key part of Outrigger’s report is its discussion of “subscriber conversion,” the ratio of a channel’s viewers to its subscribers. As the report explains, top YouTube channels can have a ratio around 200:1, but top brand channels are closer to 750:1. The use of paid views and inconsistent posting schedules both make it harder for brands to draw new subscribers to their channels, though some brands–such as education hubs like TED–need only a few hundred views or fewer for each new subscriber.
This “conversion” difficulty isn’t necessarily a huge problem. It’s unclear whether generating subscribers is even a good brand strategy on YouTube, since subscribers are harder to interact with compared to Facebook likes or Twitter followers.
At the end of its report, Outrigger (which runs the OpenSlate analytics platform) includes a list of the top overall brands. As per usual, Red Bull rules. TED took the second position, and GoPro— another adventurous, sporty brand–came in third. Clearly, marketers who want to make it big on YouTube should start doing as many backflips as possible.