Online video gets staggering viewership. Are you watching? Brands are.



The online video channel world is still sorting itself out, and now it has been all over the mainstream press because of the recent digital upfronts. The big players are on the field. But many of these channels are created by individuals, not brands, and many of them have hundreds of thousands – no, strike that – several millions of subscribers.

Here’s one: 23 year old Zoe has over 4,645,706 subscribers and gets 16,888,890 monthly views for her beauty and style channel zoella230890.

You’ve probably seen advertising for YouTube recently – in NYC there are ads all over the subway system – promoting individuals that you may never have heard of whose channels are about cupcakes or beauty or DIY whatever. And each boasting several millions of subscribers. YouTube is an essential way for viewers to find videos talking about the things they love.

But rather than keep them there, some creators are driving them to their own sites where they can have greater control over the advertising and rights and sponsorships. So perhaps it’s to forestall “YouTube flight” that has led to the decoration of our subway cars. Nonetheless YouTube is an absolutely critical part of the ecosystem even as  the dynamics shift.

At a recent NYC event Mike Henry pitched Open Slate, a resource that measures the reach, consistency, stickiness and so on of over 160,000 YouTube channels. (Open Slate is the source for Zoe’s numbers above). It serves up the appropriate (often staggering) numbers to brands who are looking to reach passionate consumers in their own niche whether on their own channels or by piggybacking onto someone else’s.

I asked “Pretending to be Funny” Jack Howard  (over 200,000 subscribers) if he pitches brands to sponsor his videos. “No,” he said. “They come to me. And I have an agent.“

Is YouTube the only place to find these video channels? Of course not – but you knew that – Broadway Video’s is a bunch of comedy channels. CondeNast has already racked up over a billion views for its 11 channels. They are adding three more channels and producing over 100 video series. And so on.

If you want to keep abreast of the enormous and exploding world of video content and advertising you should check out Video Ink which breaks all the news as it happens.

To be honest I am not sure who it is that has the time and attention to watch all these vids – but whoever they are, they are legion and they are watching and they are subscribing and the ground is shifting. I guess I am not pulling my weight here. (Note to self: Must watch more video!)